Although copyrights protect a business’s creative works and assets, the possibility of infringement remains a pressing issue for companies. Indeed, businesses should seek registration of their intellectual property for legal protections; however, many owners can take additional steps to secure their original ideas or creations.
Many companies are often unaware that their business assets include intellectual property. Therefore, it is essential to be informed about additional steps to prevent others from profiting off of a company’s intellectual property. Read below to learn about ways to protect creative assets and how the Dallas law firm of Ritter Spencer PLLC can help protect your company’s intellectual property.
Understanding Copyrights and Trademarks
Businesses use legal protections such as copyrights and trademarks to protect and preserve their intellectual property. However, companies must determine what types of legal protections are best for their intellectual property.
A common type of legal protection for intellectual works is a copyright. A copyright covers certain kinds of creative property. For example, literary, musical, and architectural creations are covered by copyright. On the other hand, a copyright cannot protect an idea, a fact, or a method. The United States implemented the Copyright Act of 1976 to provide the framework for what property types can qualify for a copyright.
Another common form of legal protection for intellectual property is a trademark. A trademark is a type of intellectual property most often consisting of a word, phrase, or logo that identifies the source of ownership of one’s goods and/or services and legally differentiates such goods or services from others in the industry. Obtaining a federal trademark provides the trademark owner the exclusive right to use the trademark nationwide and allows the owner to pursue an infringement action against others for using an identical or confusingly similar trademark or phrase.
Businesses need to know the differences between the legal protections available for their intellectual property. Recognizing the differences between these qualifications can help an organization understand its rights and know when to begin legal action.
Considering Non-Disclosure Agreements
When businesses develop unique products or services, they are at risk of having production or creative processes leak to the public. Publicity could lead to another company or individual trying to use intellectual property that does not belong to them.
Businesses should consider implementing non-disclosure agreements to protect their developing intellectual property. By offering employees a non-disclosure agreement, companies can ensure that workers comply with expectations and guidelines surrounding the privacy of development processes. A contract of this nature is indeed helpful but should be drafted and prepared by a lawyer, so it includes specific information and context to benefit the business. With the aid of an experienced attorney, companies can get assistance with creating strong non-disclosure agreements tailored to their interests.
Knowing When to Consult a Copyright and Trademark Attorney
When defending a business’s intellectual property, registering for legal protections and introducing non-disclosure agreements are reliable ways to keep intellectual property from being stolen and used for profit. However, nothing can guarantee that a business’s intellectual property will not be used by someone else in search of profit. Consulting experienced trademark and copyright attorneys, like those at Ritter Spencer, can help a company address any copyright and trademark infringement issues.
An experienced copyright or trademark attorney can guide your business through the legal protection process. The team at Ritter Spencer PLLC will work with your company and discuss what plan of action is best to protect your intellectual property. Our team is knowledgeable in various legal practice areas, such as intellectual property law, business and corporate law, commercial litigation, commercial bankruptcy, and more. Contact our team today.