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Embracing Intellectual Property Protection in FL

July 14, 2017 • Joseph Jackson

We live in an era of information in which the entire society is based on data, details, facts, figures, and statistics. Because of this, the ability to profit from intellectual property is significantly increased. However, protecting it also becomes harder. Writers, photographers, software engineers, inventors, and artists must focus on protecting their intellectual rights more than ever before. Due to the quick spread of information, it is not unusual that someone loses his intellectual property before he even thinks about registering and protecting it.

If you have intellectual property you want to protect, you are probably wondering how to do it. You have come to the right place. There are four main ways to protect intellectual property – trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. Let’s take a closer look at which type of protection would work best for your IP.

Patents and Copyrights

Patents are a type of intellectual property that protects an invention. An invention, in order to be registered, must be unique and different from everything else that is already registered by IP law. Apart from patenting inventive devices, you can also patent scientific discoveries. For example, all genetically modified organisms, seeds and similar can be legally protected. All patents have a limited lifespan of protection.

Copyright lawyers in Miami are used to protect literature, music, paintings and other creative works. This type of IP can protect any information or ideas that are unique and substantive. By protecting your creative work, you become the sole holder of the right to use, distribute or copy the work. You can also decide who may perform the work, who will financially benefit from the work, and whether or not the work can be adapted to other forms. Copyrights, like patents, last for a limited amount of time. They last for a lifetime of the holder plus seventy years. They can also last for a lifetime of the owner plus seventy years from publication of the work.

Trademarks and Trade Secrets

A trademark is a unique symbol, logo or a name that makes one business different from another and adds to the business’ commercial identity. It can consist of a combination of names, phrases, words, letters, images, designs and similar. It can also include a sound or even a jingle. A trademark attorney in Miami can help you prevent infringement on this piece of intellectual property.

As a form of intellectual property, trade secrets cover formulas, designs, a process of practice, instrument or a pattern, specific information and similar. Unlike the above mentioned types of IP protection, trade secrets are protected through employee confidentiality. Employees in some companies must sign a non-compete clause and a non-disclosure clause. The first clause prevents employees from working with competitors in the future, and the other prevents them from disclosing company secrets to others. This type of IP protection doesn’t have a limited lifespan.

Once you have familiarized yourself with different ways of protecting and registering your intellectual property, consider speaking with an intellectual property attorney. An attorney who specializes in this field can come to your aid by preparing files for registration, applying for registration in your name or helping you draft non-compete and non-disclosure clauses for your employees. Understanding IP law is complicated, but an attorney can help you make the right decision and appropriately protect your intellectual property for the long run.