Intellectual property is a category of property mostly consisting of the intangible creations of the human intellect. This type of property is usually divided into three different kinds: copyright, trademark, and patents. So important steps have to be taken in order to protect intellectual property to ensure that they’re not being used by someone else. Here are five important steps to protecting your IP.
Keeping Your Intellectual Property Confidential
One of the first and most important steps is keeping it confidential until it is protected. If you have no choice but to share your ideas with other people, ensure that you have them sign non-disclosure agreements so that they cannot share information with others without your permission. A good start is to consider speaking to one of Sydney commercial litigation lawyers to get you on the right path.
Understanding The Options Available
As stated earlier, there are usually three groups of intellectual property: trademarks, copyright, and patents. Knowing the differences between them will make it easy for you to decide what kind of forms you’ll be filling out. Patents are used to protect inventions and designs; trademarks protect brand names, logos, sounds, scents, and some aspects of the packaging; copyright protects creative works such as art and literature.
Registering Your Intellectual Property
Now that you’re aware of which category your IP falls into, you have to properly register it. Patents are usually registered in a separate office from other forms of intellectual property because inventions are protected in a different fashion. And filing at the wrong office can cause a lot of problems in the future. Get it right the first time so that there’s less hassle in the future and more protection over your intellectual property.
Doing Some Research Into The Market
The best way to figure out what the market it and who your potential customers will be is to do some research into the market. You need to figure out who you’ll be competing against if there are similar products out there, what your unit costs will be, and the manufacturers and distributors who can help you get your product into the market. Each IP has their own searches you can do, such as the Australian patent search, for example.
Keep Abreast Of Infringement
The absolute worst thing that can happen to any intellectual property owner is that there is an infringement of their IP in some fashion or another. What exactly does infringement amount to? That can be difficult to say since it would depend on the type of intellectual property that is involved since each is protected by its own legislation. Matters can also be taken before infringement occurs, such as taking action against a person if they intend to breach a confidentiality agreement, for example.
Taking matters into your own hands when it comes to your intellectual property can feel like the best way to keep things confidential, but the entire process can be a little confusing for a layperson. It might be a bad idea to have some legal counsel involved to not only help you through the process, but to also keep you informed of any infringements that may occur.