Intellectual Property Basics for Small Enterprises

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Small enterprises need to be as aware of intellectual property legalities just as much as big businesses.

Intellectual property is an umbrella term for the legal protection of creative property and conceptual information. So, your business’s brand name, logo, and inventions, to name just a few, could be considered intellectual property.

The three basic categories of intellectual property are copyrights, trademarks, and patents.

As the owner of a small enterprise, it is vital that you not only protect your intellectual property to prevent it from being stolen and used by an individual or company. It is also important that you do not infringe on another’s copyright, trademark, or patent. Are you looking for a CRM for your Small Business?  Evolved Metrics is a simple 3-click CRM.

Copyright

Copyright protects numerous kinds of creative works, including illustrations, designs, written content, architectural plans, photographs, promotional videos, music, and computer programs.

While creative work is automatically assigned copyright as soon as it is created, if you do not register your copyrighted material, it can become challenging to prove that you own the creations should someone use your material without your consent.

Therefore, it is a good idea to get the assistance of a specialist firm like Heer Law that can help you acquire, manage, and enforce intellectual property like copyright.

Once your copyrighted material is registered and legally protected, you can prove you are the creator of a work, which gives you grounds for a copyright infringement lawsuit should your copyrighted content be used without authorization.

Trademarks

When you use the ™ symbol, you not only protect your trademarked content from unauthorized use. You also enable customers in the marketplace to more easily distinguish your small enterprise’s products or services from those of your competitors.

Thus, using trademarks for your intellectual property can enable you to grow a recognized brand and gain customer retention.

Words, symbols, phrases, and more, that are connected with your business can be trademarked.

There are numerous advantages to obtaining a registered trademark.

For instance, your small enterprise gains exclusive rights in the territory where your trademark is registered from an online trademark registration agency, you can prove your ownership within those territories, and you establish a basis for bringing a lawsuit against anyone who uses your trademarks without your permission or uses trademarks that are very similar to your own.

Patents

Having a patent for an invention is one of the most powerful types of intellectual property because of the inherent value of innovative products, their applications across industries, and their licensing potential.

Any new invention can potentially be patented. And, like any other type of intellectual property, patenting a product enables you to protect it against theft or misuse by another company or individual.

Types of patents include:

  • Design patents, which protect original manufacturing designs.
  • Utility patents, which protect useful processes.
  • Plant patents, which protect new varieties of plants.

So, you could patent a novel invention, a design innovation, a unique process, or a chemical compound, to name just a few.

If your small enterprise creates a unique product, you should most certainly obtain a patent. A patent invention InventHelp expert can assist you in trying to submit your inventions or new product ideas to industry.

And if you do not own the exclusive rights to your invention, it will be easy for other companies to replicate it and sell it. In turn, your competitors could become the market leaders, leaving your small enterprise struggling to survive.

It can take time, money, and patience to secure patent rights, but once you own patents for your innovations, they can become very lucrative and your enterprise can become the marketplace leader.

Together with copyright and trademarks, patents can help your intellectual property to be legally protected. And the more legal protection you have, the smoother your business journey and growth will be.

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About the Author: Brian Novak