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For any creator or business, the worst thing is the theft and plagiarism of intellectual property, which was created with great difficulty and is for many a ticket to a successful future. If we can keep the money we earn safely in the bank, and the family jewels in a safe safe, such property cannot be hidden from ill-wishers. How to protect the results of your intellectual work, we will tell in this article.
Intellectual property – what is it, and why needs protection?
Intellectual property is the result of human mental activity. This term includes scientific works, a written book, musical works, films and cartoons, sculpture or painting, a unique development in the digital field, new design solutions, inventions and know-how in various fields.
Also under this term are trademarks (logo, slogan, brand music, reputation, package design), which protect and individualize business activities. Like the owners of tangible property, the owner of intellectual work has the right to do whatever he wants with his developments, namely, to sell, transfer the rights to use, donate, transfer to heirs, punish for unlicensed use of developments.
Do not underestimate this type of ownership, because many people have been able to “disperse” their startup from a small hobby to the richest company. Take, for example, the author of the Harry Potter series of books, J.K. Rowling, who earns a lot of money from her copyrights.
It is not always possible to say exactly how much mental work will cost, even an inexpensive and simple development in the future can bring millions – like, for example, self-wringing mops from inventor Joy Mangano, which enriched a woman entrepreneur. Often unscrupulous and dishonest firms copy a logo or technology from a more enterprising company, and if it has not taken care of protecting its brand in advance and has not patented developments, counterfeiting will be difficult to resist.
How is intellectual property protected?
They started talking about copyright protection back in the 19th century, then at the Berne Convention they introduced this term officially. At the same time, the Paris Convention gave birth to such a concept as industrial property. To date, these terms have a lot of weight and require more and more attention. WIPO is now dealing with the protection of mental work.
Each country has its own patent offices that regulate issues in this area. First of all, the owner of intellectual work needs to register it, so that in the future, when resolving conflict situations, rely on the fact of ownership. As we mentioned earlier, there is copyright (and related copyrights) and industrial property.
Copyright gives the right to own creative activity – this is art, science, computer programs and databases.
Related copyright is the transfer of copyright for the purpose of using works in works, phonograms, broadcasts over the air or cable.
Direction of industrial property – these are patents for inventions in the manufacturing sector (utility models, design, breeding achievements, microchips), as well as individualization in the commercial sphere trademark (commodity sign) and know-how (information that is a commercial secret).
How to protect your intellectual property?
It noted that your mental works will be protected only in the presence of their registration! In order to patent them, it is necessary to issue and send applications to the patent office of the country where you need protection. Before registering, make sure that your invention or other property has not already been registered in your category. There is a special register for this – in the database of patent offices you can find your category of goods and services (each category has its own code) and check it. However, it is better to entrust this search process to an experienced patent attorney.
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The registration process itself is quite complicated and long – it takes, on average, 14-18 months. If a positive decision comes, your application will be published and you will receive your title of protection certificate or patent. The period of validity of a title of protection is different for each object of intellectual property rights. If errors are found in the application you completed, it will take several more months to correct them and require additional money. This is another nuance why you need to turn to professionals.
If you want to register intellectual property simply and without problems – contact our specialists! They will successfully guide you through all the stages and help you get the long-awaited title of protection.
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