Intellectual property refers to the names of your product or brand, as well as any designs, inventions, characters and so forth. This covers copyrights, designs and patents, so it helps to know these laws in order to know how to protect the ideas and inventions that you own or create.
Ownership of intellectual property can vary. It can refer to a person who has created a new product, character or story. This can also apply to someone who has purchased this product, character or story from the original creator or to a well-known brand name.
If you are self-employed, then you own what you create unless the contract you sign says you give away the rights after you create it. For example, if you are a ghostwriter on an autobiography, you could be paid to write the book for the subject while they would get the credit for the work.
Some protection is automatic. For example, anything that you write or create becomes a copyright, while a design right refers to the distinct shape of an invention or product that has been created.
Other forms of protection need to be applied for. During this process, it is recommended that you create a non-disclosure agreement with anyone you work with. In the case of applying for a trademark (for products or logos), this can take up to four months, while registered designs (a distinct shape or pattern of a product) this can take up to a month.
With regard to patents, the process can take up to five years. This can refer to specific inventions, machines, machine parts, as well as tools and medicines. In some cases, you may need more than one protection- for example; you may need protection covering the brand, product and logo.
Do your research
Another important aspect to check is that you do not accidentally breach someone else’s intellectual property- it may be that someone else has already used that particular brand or product name. It may not seem like it, but very high-profile companies have been tripped up by not checking whether or not names have been previously used.
Talking to a professional who specialises in intellectual properties and intellectual property law will help to avoid this happening and prevent issues later on.
We can help
At Larcomes, we have always believed in being “big enough to specialise, small enough to care.” What this means is we have the experienced legal professionals and resources to represent you, while at the same time giving you the customer service and attention you deserve.
If you are concerned about protecting your intellectual property, we are happy to go over any potential issues with you. We can put you in touch with our team who specialise in this who will be able to cover what you need to know and what level of protection is appropriate. For more information or to discuss your circumstances in more detail, please contact us today.