But a business that hasn't applied for copyrights or patents, registered its trade name and trademark, or protected its trade secrets--and actively defended them--may have trouble making its case in court.
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One reason many entrepreneurs don't protect their intellectual property is that they don't recognize the value of the intangibles they own. Cenar advises entrepreneurs to take their business plans to an experienced intellectual property attorney. Spending money upfront for legal help can save you from expense later by giving you strong trademark or copyright rights, which can deter competitors from infringing. Choose Wisely Once you've figured out what's worth protecting, you have to decide how you'll protect it.
This isn't always obvious. Traditionally, patents prohibit others from copying new devices and processes, while copyrights do the same for creative endeavors like books, music or software. But in many cases, the categories overlap. Likewise, trademark law now extends to distinctive elements like a product's color and shape. Trade dress law concerns how a product is packaged and advertised.
Consider Ty Inc. Before launching the Beanie Baby line, Cenar explains, the owners sat down with their lawyers to look over their business and marketing plans and discuss intellectual property issues. The plan was for a limited number of toys in a variety of styles, with no advertising except word-of-mouth. Getting a patent on a plush toy may have been impossible and would have taken several years--too long for easily copied toys.
Trademark and trade dress protection wouldn't help much, since the company planned a variety of styles. But copyrights are available for sculptural art, and they're inexpensive and easy to obtain. The company chose to register copyrights and defend them vigorously. With help from its lawyers, the company has fended off numerous knockoffs. Tricks of the Trademark Your first experience with intellectual property will likely be your trademark, since you need to think about that before choosing a company name. Note that your trademarks might include not only your name, but also a slogan, symbol, picture or logo.
Your trademarks are how people identify your business. If it's a trademark you're using but haven't registered, you use a TM instead. A service mark, sometimes seen as an SM behind a name, identifies a service company like a retail store. Any trademark you use is protected under common law as soon as you start to use it.
50 Trade Secrets of Great Design: Packaging by Stafford Cliff
Under common law, the first entity to use a particular name, slogan or symbol has the right to it. So if you're just planning a single shop, it might be enough to know that no similar local business is using the same name. But if you have aspirations to go further, you'd better have a proper trademark search done and register your mark.
State trademark registration is simple, fairly quick and inexpensive, but it only protects your trademark in your state--so someone with a federal patent still gets first dibs on it.
50 Trade Secrets of Great Design Packaging.pdf
It's best to register your trademarks with the U. Patent and Trademark Office. You can do a preliminary trademark search online, but because of the complexity of the process, you should still use an intellectual property lawyer. And since the process can take several years, you start by filing an "intent to use," which is an image of the trademark and a sworn affidavit that you intend to use it in commerce. If you've created a new product, process or machine--or made a significant improvement on one--you might be able to obtain a utility patent, which protects your right to that invention for 20 years from the filing date.
A design patent on original ornamental designs for manufactured items gives you 14 years of protection. It takes a long time to get either one, but you can file a provisional application that holds your place in line, in case someone else comes up with the same thing. You can file for a provisional utility patent online, but a provisional design patent has to be done through the mail. To be eligible for a patent, an innovation has to be new.
It can't have been in use in this country for more than a year or be described in any printed publication anywhere in the world. It also can't be a modification obvious to anyone familiar with the field, such as making an existing product in a different color or size. Only the inventor can apply for a patent, unless the inventor is dead or mentally incapable. While the application for a design patent is fairly simple, a utility patent application is pretty complex, requiring drawings with multiple views, technical information and numerous forms.
As with trademarks, it's important to hire an experienced patent lawyer to help you through the maze.
Do Copyrights Right Unlike patents, copyrights are easy to get. In fact, the minute a book, film, photograph, drawing, software, website or other creative product is created in fixed form, it's copyrighted. Creativity is what counts here--you can't copyright, say, a standard calendar. Copyright protection gives the owner the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform or display the work or authorize others to do so.
Before you can file a copyright infringement suit, you need to have registered a copyright.
Find out more about copyrights at www. I loved the way he explained how each design firm tackled the job, what paths they followed, what aspects they considered and what problems they faced. Vivian rated it really liked it May 26, Sasha Hiatt-Blenkush rated it liked it Jan 01, Andrew Wright rated it really liked it Dec 14, Sultan Shalakhti rated it it was amazing May 10, BW-design rated it liked it Jan 18, Keith rated it really liked it Oct 18, Hannah Louise Richardson rated it it was ok Oct 18, Jorge Padilha rated it really liked it Jul 13, Jaclyn rated it liked it Nov 09, Dario Renato rated it really liked it May 16, Tony Tran rated it it was ok Feb 10, Bo lalalala rated it really liked it Oct 18, John rated it really liked it Nov 12, Melanie marked it as to-read Sep 19, Lee-Arng marked it as to-read Nov 04, Hannstar Chan is currently reading it Dec 22, Glenn Hughes added it Nov 17, Ocean marked it as to-read Apr 17, Tino marked it as to-read Aug 27, Mary Tokmajyan added it Sep 09, Ranjan marked it as to-read Sep 12, Helena R.
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