Large corporations and even small businesses often have problems with protecting their intellectual property. We will mainly focus today on protecting IP in the United States. Protecting intellectual property is not only ethics but even modern-day politics. The reason for this is that materialized ideas are valued extremely highly.
The United States, being a very individualistic society, actively promotes the importance of the intellectual property. It is given by the thought of ideas processed by the human mind being a part of the comparative advantage. This is why the intellectual property protection systems in the US are among the effective ones in the world.
Protecting IP rights in the United States
All original inventions are recommended to be immediately filed for a patent application in the US Patent and Trademark Office. Once the certificate is granted, the copyrights are valid for 20 years. It should be mentioned though that the validity term of IP protection varies for each type and can actually be renewed in the future.
Another way of protecting intellectual property is registering a trademark. All the identification details used for product or service marketing including names, logos, or symbols can be protected under the trademark rights. After the TM registration, trademark protection in the US covers it. There are other examples:
- Logos and corporate designs
- Sound signals or melodies
- Words or phrases.
Although, the US federal protection automatically applies to creative works without the US Copyright Office registration, registering your work can be helpful as it enhances one’s rights.
The problem of rightsholders abusing TM rights is still relevant in the US. Those people register trademarks with the only aim – restricting marketing competition. An example of such activity is the artificial extension of copyright protection term by retroactively including a co-author after the original author’s death.
Protection of IP in the US and generally in the whole world remains a high priority. It can seem premature maybe for startup processes, yet in the future, this aspect can influence the accessibility to get funding or preventing unfair competition.
In case you are planning to reinforce IP protection on your valid assets, contact COREDO to receive a detailed consultation.