When you have an epiphany, you write it down or otherwise record it for posterity. Your work gains legal protection as soon as you create it, but to provide it with the fullest protection under intellectual property laws, you need to file appropriate paperwork to declare it yours, according to DocstocTV.
Intellectual property law protects four categories of information in the U.S.
- Trade secrets
Of those four categories, only trade secrets lack a formal set of paperwork to file to obtain legal protection, DocstocTV reports.
When you or someone at your company creates a written or performed work, such as a book or video, protect its contents by filing for a copyright. This designation bars others from copying it without permission from you.
To protect your business’ logo, tagline, and other identifying assets, your business applies for a trademark. This protects your company from unauthorized use of its logo and name. If another individual or organization tries to use it or make a similar logo that consumers could easily confuse with yours, you can sue them for trademark infringement.
When you or your company designs a product, part, improvement to a part or product, etc., you patent the design to protect others from making the same item. To do this, file a patent application that includes the schematics and instructions on how to make the item. This process protects your design from use for a specific number of years, but your company can renew it.
The phrase trade secrets refer to the private methods of your company that make it different from other businesses. This could be a recipe, such as the 11 herbs and spices used in Kentucky Fried Chicken, or the formula for making Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Trade secrets can also refer to your work processes and procedures or proprietary software that your business creates to use to organize business information.
The earliest data lakes that pulled sales register data, coupon reader data, and other data streams together provided a trade secret for the companies that developed them. Instead of registering these items, companies guard them carefully, refusing to share them with employees or others, so they remain secret.
Getting Started with Intellectual Property Law
If your Colorado company needs to copyright, patent, or trademark information, contact intellectual property attorneys in Colorado Springs. An attorney can also help devise a method of protecting your trade secrets.