INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND YOUR BUSINESS How to Effectively Protect Your Intellectual Property
TRADEMARKS The name of your business, product, or service — anything a customer uses to identify a product — generally requires a trademark. This may include your company’s name, product name, etc. Think of the distinctive Nike “Swoosh” and the familiar ending sound of Dell’s commercials. To properly protect your trademark, file a trademark application to have it registered. COPYRIGHTS Most people seek protection under copyright law for a variety of things related to their product or business, like images, specific words on packaging, labeling, the actual product, and the business webpage. The best thing about copyright registration is that it’s inexpensive. Plus, the law allows you to demand attorney fees from those who infringe on your copyright. PATENTS Patents are a fantastic way to protect your designs, and companies have
utilized patents to maintain their competitive advantage. A great example of this strategy is when Sony Pictures patented their animation style for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse” which grossed over $375,502,565. There are two types of patents: one for utility (function) and one for design (aesthetic). To apply for a patent, register with the United States Patent Office. Regardless of the type of intellectual property you have, it’s important you identify what type it is and which type of protection is most appropriate. Even a small amount of intellectual property is worth protecting, so start the process now to safeguard it.
Intellectual property is defined by Merriam-Webster as “property (such as an idea, invention, or process) that derives from the work of the mind or intellect.” As you can no doubt glean from this definition, intellectual property can be a lot of things, so it’s important to identify and protect you and your business’s intellectual property. Here are the main categories and protections for your company’s creations. TRADE SECRETS A trade secret is any useful piece of information that the public doesn’t know about and the owner has taken steps to protect. If you have taken the steps necessary to protect your own trade practices, you may have a case if you ever discover your trade secret has been leaked. Having your employees sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) is a great way to initially establish your unique business practices as trade secrets.
... continued from Page 4 HOW TO ESCAPE THE ‘MCLAWYER DOLLAR MENU’ No problem. Because, in their mind, they can get the same service from the other attorney three blocks away, who’s dumb enough to do it for $100 less. There’s only one way to avoid or escape the “McLawyer Dollar Menu”. Authority positioning. You need to create the perception that, for a certain type of client with a certain type of case, you are the authority. Not just “an” authority, but “the” authority, the attorney whom the richest person in town would call if they needed to hire the best and money wasn’t an object.
This kind of positioning is nowhere near as difficult or expensive to create as you might think. It’s a question of creating the right “authority assets.” And this is something Richard Jacobs explains how to do in one of his books, “The Attorney Authority Reboot.” (We don’t talk about this book nearly as often as we mention his “Secrets of Attorney Marketing” book. However, it’s just as valuable.) This book sells on Amazon.com for $9.99. And, if you need to attract more of the cases you want, without having to compromise on your fees or chase clients for business, it’s worth every dime. However, we would be happy to send you a copy on the house. Just click the link below, confirm a few details, and we’ll ship it to your office. No charge. This is a gift from us, 100% complimentary. Speakeasy.Marketing/Authority
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