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How To Protect Your Intellectual Property

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Protect your ideas. Protect your investment.

Intellectual Property (IP): a work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc.

While IP has been a concern for many years now, the pace of modern industry has increased the value dramatically. As Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) have become more valuable and increasingly more controversial, they have become the source of much media coverage and the plot line of many forms of fiction. HBO’s juggernaut series Silicon Valley relies heavily on IPR where a small start-up fights a fictional satire of Google for IP rights to their world-changing ideas. Google in this example and many others is a popular target as they really are the kings of IP. Google’s trademark alone has been valued at over $98 billion.

What does this all mean for you? This is a simple illustration of what could happen in your business if you are not prepared.

Your first thought may be “well we don’t work in tech” or “we don’t have secrets”, but that’s not where IP ends. IP could be your patents or your secrets but it could include everything down to the specialized knowledge of your employees.

There’s a very good chance that your business thrives on some form of IP. This is why it’s critical to protect your business against infringement. Here’s a list of the five most common types of intellectual property:

  1. Copyrights
  2. Patents
  3. Trademarks
  4. Trade Secrets
  5. Right of Publicity

Your strategy should be highly specific to your industry and your business. The most important thing to know is that every dollar spent on IP is an investment and could save you time and money in the long run. Infringement cases can be very expensive and can have unexpected outcomes. It is not uncommon for an owner’s IP rights to be diminished after a scrutinizing court preceding.

If you have missed steps in preparation, you may find after a lawsuit that your rights are invalid or less extensive than you believed them to be. This is why you need to be protected now.

In the event that you are already a victim of infringement, we are here to help. If you determine that litigation is in your best interest, there are a number of resources available. Contact us at Bridge Law LLP today and we will work with you to understand your situation and find the solution that will best fit your needs.

Copyrights are creative works that have been fixed in a tangible form.

  1. Patents are grants from the government that give you exclusive rights over your invention for a specific amount of time, in exchange for full disclosure.
  2. Trademarks are words, symbols, colors, sounds, or any combination, used in conjunction with a product or service.
  3. Trade secrets are secret information used by a business that derives its value from sensitive internal data such as customer lists and secret formulas that could lose value if disclosed and would cause the company harm.
  4. The right of publicity protects against the misappropriation of a person’s name, likeness, or personal identity for commercial benefit.


*The information presented in this article does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.  The information presented in this article is not tax advice.

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