Unless the intellectual property is protected by its creator properly, it is actually very easy to steal. Intellectual property is a product of mental work and, therefore, can be easily taken advantage of. Wondering how to protect it correctly?
With the purpose of proving that certain product truly belongs to you, it is necessary to fix it at the very beginning stage, whether it is rights to an idea, work, technology, or invention.
For a startup protecting its intellectual property is crucial so that the competitors do not have the rights to use the same intellectual product. Furthermore, protecting intellectual property on a high level makes a business more attractive for investors and increases considerably the commercial value of the company.
Let’s take a closer look on some steps to take on protecting IP of a company.
The value of IP
In the next step after defining the IP item, the ownership must be declared: who possesses the right to use this property. Often in the beginning of a startup, founders build a company with no structure or business plan. That is why, later on the founders themselves are the IP owners, which can result in future conflicts. To prevent problems as contesting intellectual property rights all rights including rights to use IP must be secured to the company. The ideal way of doing this it to sign a written agreement among the company’s founders.
Still more solutions for registered IP protection exist. Sometimes startups use brand registration to protect their brand, or patent their inventions to protect them.
Since IP registration forms can be pricy, companies need to choose the most important assets and determine which jurisdiction would be the best option for registering the intellectual property.
Patents for high-tech startups
Startups that produce innovative and technological items find patents effective to protect their innovation rights to the company. The aim of a patent is to reserve the rights to use the product only to the patent owner for a certain time period, unless the owner provides their permission to others. This permission for those desiring to use the product has a form of license distributed by the patent owner. Nevertheless, obtaining a patent for a software or another invention is more expensive than for other IP protection kinds.
For an invention to be claimed by patent protection of IP, it must me new, incorporate an innovative step and have a capability to be applied in industry. The jurisdiction and the legislation in relation to IP both influence the term “functioning” of a patent.
When it comes to Ireland, it is possible to get a patent for an invention for 20 years or a shortened version for 10 years. In order to gain an invention patent in Ireland the company needs to complete a patent application and pass it to the Irish Intellectual Property Office. For the occasions when an international patent is needed, it would be more useful to make an appeal in the World Intellectual Property Organization or other international institutions.
The process of the application can be especially complicated by preparing all the necessary documents and calculating the estimated amount of the fee. The professional help of lawyers in COREDO will save you time and money. If you are new to the business, our specialists are prepared to advise you on IP protection.
Protection of the trademark
It is not rare that the brand itself has the highest value among other company’s assets. Yet first for the activation of this value, the trademark of the company is supposed to be registered. By registering the trademark, the owner gains an exclusive right to use it for their services and products and, at the same time, stop competitors and other persons from using the trademark without the owner’s permission.
Trademark type of IP protection in Ireland is valid for 10 years initially and can be afterwards extended for other 10 years or more. The extension condition is the on-time payment of the renewal fees – if they are paid the protection can technically last forever.
Trademark registration in Ireland is processed according to the Irish Trademark Law. The Law also contains a complete list of mark types that trademark protection can be applied to.
Rights for databases
For the cases when databases need to be protected as IP, it is necessary to take into account the right “sui generis”. The right to a database of information is accorded to the persons who invest significantly in obtaining, authenticating data, or presenting information from a certain database. If a substantial part of the database is extracted and reused, the right is violated. In case the actions like these repeat they can even be regarded as law violation. The database protection in Ireland can be indefinite if the information in the database is regularly updated.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with COREDO to learn other details about intellectual property protection in Ireland, England and under other jurisdictions.