In business today there is nearly always a need for one kind of IP (Intellectual Property Protection) so let us look at some of the basic details regarding the various forms of protection available in today’s modern competitive world of 2017.
Having been involved in the field for over 30 years some of the details are very complex but we’re going to cut the field down to a few fundamental basics as follows with the help of some explanations from â€œWikiâ€ to help with the conceptual understanding:-
Patent/s – Basically a patent would be used to protect a new product which has a special aspect to it which is unique to other products.
â€œA patent (/ËˆpÃ¦tÉ™nt/ or /ËˆpeÉªtÉ™nt/) is a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem and is a product or a process.:17 Patents are a form of intellectual property.â€
Design registration – Is basically used to protect the â€œlookâ€ of a particular item from others copying and reproducing it.
â€œAn industrial design right is an intellectual property right that protects the visual design of objects that are not purely utilitarian. An industrial design consists of the creation of a shape, configuration or composition of pattern or color, or combination of pattern and color in three-dimensional form containing aesthetic value. An industrial design can be a two- or three-dimensional pattern used to produce a product, industrial commodity or handicraft.â€
Copyright – Is used in a situation where you wish to protect a book, an image (or logo for example) so others do not use it without permission.
â€œCopyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. This is usually only for a limited time. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves. â€
Trademarks – Are used to protect the look, use of logos, appearance, colours and layout of a design.
â€œA trademark, trademark, or trade-mark is a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings.â€
Business and IP
In business today there are many competing companies and other organisations all out to make money in businesses of all kinds of ways and IP protection is a key way to ensure your company has an edge on the or any other competition you may face on your way. If a company is going to invest time and money into something they must ensure no other competitor is going to walk away with all of your hard work at the end of the day so this is a very important aspect in the modern day business environment.
This being said there are indeed other forms of IP in the modern era especially with the internet in its current form. An idea can be born in one area of the world and be sent across the net in a second to another part of the world where it can be copied straight away if the correct procedures are not followed. Take an example from 3D printing. An autocad file can be completed one side of the world and printed off in the other at incredible speeds!
Over and above this even though you may have done IP protection properly there are other aspects to be duly implemented such as IP insurance. After all at the end of the day without the ability to enforce whichever form of IP you chose to use it will be useless unless you have the financial aspect of being able to get compensation after an infringement and for the most part this will involve taking the offender/s to court.
With the above being taken into consideration the financial aspects must be thoroughly thought thru before an individual or other organisation undertakes the project, production, design or manufacture of any product in the first place.
Web Development and design
In the modern world it is equally important to protect your web site domain name and the content you are planning to post on the net as after all a picture speaks a thousand words does it not? Having a good web site these days is vital to get your product or service out there to prospective customers at every opportunity possible which will also involve additional costs which have to be considered so factored into the budget.
Hope the overview helps the reader get some overall perspective on starting a new venture as the pitfalls detailed above are only a basic few of the things that will need addressing before you have earned your first million! Have fun!