Understanding intellectual property is key for business owners with unique ideas that they want to ensure remain unique. Intellectual property is a blanket term for intangible assets owned by a business that is protected from use by others without the permission of the owner. Although intellectual property is intangible, it is immensely valuable to businesses in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace. See the information below for more details on intellectual property.
- Types of Intellectual Property
Fully understanding intellectual property means understanding what it comprises. Types of intellectual property include various assets such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, franchises and trade secrets.
- Patents are granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and provide exclusive property right Plano TXto an invention.
- Copyrights are used by authors and musicians to ensure no one else can use their unique works without their permission. The party holding the copyright can grant permission to others to use their work by granting a licensing agreement.
- Trademarks are phrases, insignias or symbols unique to a company and protected from duplication by any other party.
- Franchises are licenses granted by the owner of a business to another party (the franchisee) allowing the franchisee to use the intellectual property of the franchise owner.
- Trade secrets are one company’s process that is not available publicly and that provides a competitive advantage to that company. For example, McDonald’s french fry recipe is a trade secret.
- Protecting Intellectual Property
Businesses can and should protect their intellectual property to the best of their ability. Although it does take time and money to protect intellectual property, it is more than worth the investment to ensure no one else can use or sell your ideas or inventions without your permission.
Intellectual property is comprised of multiple types of property. If you have intangible assets that need protecting, ensure you understand how to protect those assets.