Intellectual Property Law Firm Charlottesville, VA
After trying to find a solution to your problem and coming up empty, you’ve decided to just invent your own solution, and an intellectual property law firm in Charlottesville, VA can help you do it. Whether that is a physical product, an idea, or an app, this idea is considered intellectual property and you want to make sure you protect it. Anytime you come up with an idea of your own, you should put safeguards in place so that your idea isn’t at risk of being stolen. The purpose of intellectual property laws is to provide creators with legal protections so that they can profit from their ideas and inventions without fear of others stealing them or using them improperly. Though it’s not legally required, creators can use their ownership rights to set additional protections to further secure their intellectual property. Because of the constant threat of plagiarism, cybersecurity breaches, and other potential issues, official registration of intellectual property is highly encouraged. Intellectual property can be broken down into several types. IPutting these protections in place also makes it easier for you to deal with problems if they occur, such as in case someone attempts to steal your idea or uses your idea without your permission. Below, we’ll walk through the definition of a patent and what types of things you should consider getting a patent for. We will also explain what a copyright and trademark is used for. The law office of Dale Jensen, PLC can help you when you are unsure of what next steps you need to take with your intellectual property.
What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property is your own idea that you are able to protect through obtaining a copyright, patent, or trademark. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the global forum for intellectual property services, “intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, and symbols, names, and images used in commerce.” It applies to everything and anything that is uniquely your idea and gives you protection so you can earn money off of it if you choose. The method in which you can protect your intellectual property depends on the type of idea you have. You must meet specific requirements before you can officially register an idea. If you have never registered an idea before, a lawyer can assist you with going through the process. An intellectual property law firm Charlottesville, Virginia can rely on would like to help you.
You can register your idea conveniently through online applications. To file a patent or trademark, you can visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. To register a copyright, you can go to the United States Copyright Office website. You can find the requirements for each type as well as the forms you can use. Before you submit your application, make sure your idea meets each of the requirements. For help filling out the application or if you have specific questions about the respective requirements, you can consult with an experienced intellectual property lawyer who can help you. They can give you further detailed assistance so that you don’t have errors in your application.
A patent, copyright, or trademark?
Now that you have this intellectual property, you will want to make sure it is protected correctly. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are all different ways you can protect your intellectual property, and a Virginia intellectual property law firm can help you determine which is best for your intellectual property. For certain ideas, it may not be immediately clear which way they should be best protected. What type you should file for is based on the type of intellectual property. Let’s dive into what each actually is.
A patent is what you would obtain for a physical product. According to the dictionary, the definition of a patent is “a government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.” Basically, this means that for a specified period of time, no one else can make your invention. A patent gives the inventor protection while they are introducing their idea to the public. An invention must meet particular requirements to be patented, and there are specific prohibitions that may apply. Determining whether your product can be patented is not always straightforward, so it is recommended that you consult with a lawyer. A respected attorney from the law office of Dale Jensen, PLC can help with your patent.
A copyright applies to all literary creations. This includes music, movies, books, plays, audio, video, and artistic works. It involves the creative expressions a person may want to protect, whether or not they are published. Small businesses can also copyright slogans and taglines. Copyright laws also allow a creator to determine how their copyrighted work is distributed, reproduced, or performed. Technically every type of work is copyrighted upon completion, but you will need to register for a copyright if you want to prevent anyone from stealing your work or if you need to sue someone for using your work. A qualified intellectual property attorney can tell you more about the application for copyrighted works and how they are protected.
A trademark is specifically for businesses. It protects small business’ names, logos, slogans, and anything related to their brand. If you want to trademark your small business, make sure you do extensive research beforehand to ensure there is no other company existing with that name. This can be a lengthy process and you want to ensure you do this properly so that you don’t accidentally use ideas that are already being used by other business owners. Once you have done so, speak with a Charlottesville, VA intellectual property law firm you can rely on to take steps toward getting your trademark.
Depending upon your idea or business, you may want to consider getting multiple protections. Though it might take more time and may involve you taking additional steps, adding layers of protection will only enhance the security around your product. It may be worth doing if you have additional items that are a supplement to your main idea that would also benefit from legal protection. For example, if you want a patent for the new product you are selling, you would want to copyright any of the books, manuals, or marketing videos you create, and your company name and logo should be trademarked. If you plan to create those additional items as part of your larger business plan, then you could only benefit from having them officially registered as well. While it is not required, obtaining multiple protections is a decision that creators should carefully consider.
How an Intellectual Property Law Firm in Charlottesville, Virginia Can Help You!
If you have found an innovative solution for the problem you experienced in the market, then you should highly consider protecting your intellectual property with the help of an attorney from the law office of Dale Jensen, PLC. Additionally, if you are starting your own business based on your idea, do your research and make sure you protect every part of your new business. A creator or business owner can choose to submit their application for their intellectual property on their own without the help of a lawyer, but they would not have the advantages that an experienced lawyer can provide. Intellectual property laws can be confusing if you do not have a legal background. The many distinct requirements can be difficult to follow, and you want to make sure you don’t include mistakes in your application and risk having to do the process again. No matter which way you choose to protect your intellectual property, you want to make sure that you go through the Contact an intellectual property law firm Charlottesville, VA relies on today for help with your intellectual property!
Licensing Intellectual Property
When an individual wishes to use and/or profit off of otherwise protected intellectual property, they may need to obtain a license for the ownership rights to that property. A license both prevents another party from being able to recreate the property or distribute it and enables legal use of another’s intellectual property.
There are many ways that an individual or business could profit from securing an intellectual property license. For example, if a business is interested in licensing a copyrighted software program, the business could use the license to offer users of the program the ability to use the software for a certain period of time. This would increase the potential revenue streams of the product. Similarly, there are many ways that an individual or business that currently owns the rights to intellectual property could benefit financially from issuing intellectual property licenses.
If you are the owner of intellectual property or are interested in licensing already protected property, please contact an experienced Charlottesville, VA intellectual property law firm in order to make sure that your interests are protected, no matter what course of action you decide to take.
What Exactly Is an Intellectual Property License?
When a person creates some kind of invention, publication or work, they can license the rights to that property to another party or parties. Material that is protected by copyright, patents or trademarks can all be licensed. The person or business does retain ownership rights to the intellectual property, but benefits financially from issuing limited use-related rights via license. If this kind of arrangement interests you (either as an IP owner or as someone interested in licensing IP), please contact a Charlottesville, VA intellectual property law firm for more information.
There are different types of licenses for different types of intellectual property. Depending on the type of property the owner of the IP could grant a temporary license, such as with software, whereby the license is in effect for a certain period of time. There is usually a fee for this license and the two parties have then entered into a contract, with terms and services that often include stringent stipulations regarding any sharing, redistribution, or selling of the software program.
The owner of the intellectual property can also enter into an agreement with a company, agency, or other organization that will help them sell licenses to the public. Or they may own their own business that markets directly to the public without the use of a third party. An experienced Charlottesville, VA intellectual property law firm can help you with any arrangement that may be relevant to you.
Creating a License Agreement Contract
No matter your situation, having a Charlottesville, VA intellectual property law firm assist you is critical to ensure that your rights are protected. There are certain clauses that should be included in any type of agreement in order to make sure the owner of the intellectual property maintains ownership even while the license is in effect and that the individual or business being granted the license can use their rights without risking negative consequences. Potential violations should be clearly spelled out in the contract, as well as what the potential consequences could be in the event the license agreement is violated in any way.
If you are a creator who wants to protect your original idea, design, or product, you should explore how an intellectual property lawyer can help you. Understanding intellectual property laws can be challenging, but you do not have to go through the process on your own. Legal assistance is available if you wish to protect your intellectual property. If you are the owner of an intellectual property and are considering issuing license agreements, contact Dale Jensen, PLC today to find out what is the best course of action for your intellectual property needs. The team at our experienced Charlottesville, Virginia intellectual property law firm looks forward to speaking with you.