As a business, I can’t tell you enough how important it is to protect your intellectual property. These are the things that help set you apart from businesses like yours. Whether you’re creating works of art to sell online or a coach putting your experience to help other business owners, you need to understand the basics of intellectual property law and what to expect as we move forward.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at the different types of intellectual property protection for businesses and how to go about protecting them. A law firm that specializes in IP law will be a great resource to you as you go through this process. These lawyers can best advise you on how to protect your IP and your company as a whole.
Copyrights will protect original works. These include literary works, computer software, graphic works, recordings, artistic works, music, pantomimes and choreographic works. If you have copyright protection on these things for your business, you will have exclusive rights to modify, perform, create, distribute, copy and display this work.
Copyright actually exists from the moment that something is created. Something qualifies under copyright laws if the work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. You can choose whether or not to register the work. If you do register, you may be eligible for attorney fees and statutory damages during an infringement suit. It takes about two and a half months to process an e-filed application and about five and a half months for a paper application.
Patents grant rights on an invention. There are three types of patents: utility, design and plant. Patents prevent others from selling, making or using your invention. These inventions usually allow many businesses to be successful because they develop better processes or products than their competitors. When this is done, it’s important to protect it from these competitors.
A trademark is a word, symbol, phrase or design that distinguishes your product or service from your competitors.
Trade secrets are also important to the success of your business. These things can include a process, formula or other business information.
That’s great — but what are some steps you can take, right now, to help protect your intellectual property in today’s digital world, where copy and paste seem to reign supreme?
Protect Your Property Online
– Disable the right clicking option.
An easy way to help protect your images and text on your website is to prevent right-clicking. This will keep people from easily copying your IP, such as images and photographs, off your website. This can be done with different plugins.
– Create galleries for images.
This will also make it more difficult for people to steal your images.
– Use watermarks on your images.
Many businesses use watermarks to prevent people from stealing original images off their websites. This is especially common for photographers to protect images posted online for their clients.
– Put copyright notices on your website.
This will discourage people from stealing your work and make them think twice before attempting to steal images.
– Use a plugin to prevent content theft.
The unique nature of your content is important to your success. You want your website to add to a potential customer’s experience and keep them coming back. If other businesses steal your content, it may be hard for these people to figure out who the original writer was. You need to protect your images, as well as your content, from being stolen and used by others. Set your business apart from all the others. The way to do this is with original content — that is protected.
There are a variety of plugins to help people from stealing your content from your website as well. These include Feed Delay, Tynt Insight, WordPress SEO Yoast, WP Content Copy Protection and Plagiarism checkers. These plugins will help deter people from stealing your content or provide you with a notification when someone uses it.
What to Expect From the Future of IP:
– Online businesses will continue to grow.
As online businesses continue to grow, it may become even more difficult to protect your intellectual property. This will make stealing even easier. Using the tips above, though, can help discourage this theft.
– IP lawyers will continue to be necessary.
Lawyers who specialize in IP law will continue to be valuable as we move forward, especially with the increase of online businesses. It’s important that these lawyers adjust and increase their knowledge with the changing times. It is now easier to steal content than it has been, so lawyers must be able to advise business owners on the best course of action.
– Marketing companies will need to change with the times, as well.
Since plugins will be necessary to help protect online content, marketing companies need to take this into account when designing web pages. They will be essential in protecting their clients’ interests.
Contact us for more information!