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Types Of Intellectual Property You Should Be Aware Of

If you think of starting a new business or has one currently, then it will be important that you make yourself familiar with what is known as intellectual property. Basically, this is a phrase that is used to describe legal rights in which people have a hold over creations of the mind like writing, works of art, designs, music, ideas, choreography or inventions. In reality, there are 4 different kinds of intellectual property and these compose of copyrights, patents, trade secrets and trademarks.

Number 1. Copyright – in this type of intellectual property, it is used to protect the original authors of both unpublished and published creations. As for the rights of these works, it remains only to the passion of the creator for a certain period of time under copyright law. These works will be open to others for republication and reproduction as soon as the time period has elapsed.

Number 2. Patents – these are basically legal property rights that are applied to the inventions as opposed to works of any type of literacy or art and they should be distributed by the US Patent and Trademark Office. In most instances, the patents can be applied to items such as processes, manufacturing designs, machines, compositions of matter or biological discoveries. Similar to copyrights, patents are also available to inventors for a set period of time before it expires. Generally speaking, patents can last for up to 20 years after the date in which the application for patent is filed.

Number 3. Trade Secrets – truth is, these are designs, practices, processes, recipes, formulas or even ideas that help a company to have leverage in the industry. Most of the time, trade secrets are hidden by a person’s own means in comparison to being protected through government policies like copyrights or patents. An example for self protection used commonly with trade secrets is by locking pertinent info away in a bank vault. Because trade secrets are lacking of legal protection, the moment they got leaked to the public, anyone can use them.

Number 4. Trademarks – usually, these are including phrases, words, symbols, designs or even devices used in line with a certain brand or good to distinguish it from other merchandises of that particular industry. Truth is, trademarks are used for identification purposes and protected legally the moment they have been registered with US Patent and Trademark Office.

Believe it or not, many people are not aware of the value and the presence of these assets because it comprises of expertise, knowledge, now-how that only high qualified employees have. Truth is, this gives any company an edge over its market competitions.
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