What are the Different Types of Intellectual Property?

What are the Different Types of Intellectual Property?

Creating a new product or idea can be extremely time-consuming. It can also be quite costly. The last thing you want to do is to have your idea stolen. In order to ensure your legal rights are protected, it is essential that you take the appropriate legal actions.

An intellectual property attorney can provide assistance with filings for a patent, a trademark, or other legal actions that need to be taken to protect you and your product.

What are Intellectual Property Rights?

By definition, intellectual property rights are all the rights associated with any intangible assets owned by a company, person, or entity against the use of such assets without consent.

Intangible asset is a term used to describe non-physical property types, which includes the right of ownership in intellectual property. Common examples of intellectual property can include:

  • Industrial designs
  • Database rights
  • Inventions
  • Patents
  • Domain names
  • Service marks
  • Logos

What are the Types of Intellectual Property?

The four basic intellectual property rights are:

Trade secrets: This type of intellectual property is owned by an individual, company, or another entity and is generally not available to the public. It can have economic value and carry important information. Examples of trade secrets can be recipes, business processes, and practices that are utilized to gain an advantage over the competition. In order for the property to qualify as a trade secret, the company must work specifically to protect the information. Once the information becomes public knowledge, it can no longer be protected by trade secret laws.

Copyrights: Copyright laws protect the rights of individuals or parties who create original works of intellectual property. Copyrights must be tangible products, such as poems, songs, and other physical products.

Trademarks: This type of intellectual property right protects an inventor or company from having their sounds, words, symbols, logos, or colors used without consent. It also enables companies to use such items to distinguish their product or services from others.

Patents: The US Patent and Trademark Office provides applicants with the rights to their original inventions. Patent laws are designed to protect these inventions against unlawful use by providing the patent holder with exclusive rights. There are three general types of patents. These include:

  • Design patents: These patents provide protection to holders for the aesthetics of a specific invention or device.
  • Plant patents: This type of patent provides a safeguard to patent holders against new varieties of plants (i.e., pest-free versions of specific plants)
  • Utility patents: This patent type provides protection for products that serve practical purposes that are useful for users. These can include software, safety systems on vehicles, and even pharmaceuticals.

Intellectual property owners will often use more than one type of intellectual property law to protect the same assets. Each type provides various levels of protection against infringement of intellectual property.

Enforcing Your Intellectual Property Rights

Lawyers work specifically to legally enforce intellectual property rights for clients. This process involves guarding the owner against any actions that infringe on their intellectual property rights.

If a client infringes their rights, an intellectual property attorney will litigate against the violators in federal court. This can include both criminal prosecution and the enforcement of the client's intellectual property rights.

These cases can be incredibly complex as they often involve local politics in the country where the act of infringement occurred. Having an attorney that is well-versed in handling these complex legal matters is vital to the outcome of your case.

Let Our Law Firm Help You

Suppose another person or business has violated your rights. In that case, it is essential that you seek legal guidance right away from an attorney that is skilled and experienced in handling cases involving intellectual property infringement.

If you are protecting your rights against someone using your property without consent, or you are interested in protecting your intellectual property, having a knowledgeable legal team is invaluable. Seeking the assistance of a copyright lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes regarding your product, service, or idea. Contact our team at Krogh & Decker, LLP today to get started.

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