This article from Ragan Communications provides some excellent advise and guidance to protect your brand and intellectual property. Below i a list of the topics covered. Please read the full article for details, and consult your attorney for legal advise.
You must protect your brand—and yourself—on multiple fronts related to patent, trademark, and copyright. Here’s the rundown.
When establishing your branding and ensuring the protection of your brand, you inevitably deal with legal issues. When you do, keep three key points in mind.
First, your brand is best protected when you comprehensively cover all your bases: copyright, patent registration, and trademarking of your name and symbols. Don’t just focus on one or two; you need to take care of all three.
Second, you need to aggressively protect your patents and copyrights; be thorough with contracts, ensure secrecy, and keep on top of legal filings.
Third, move quickly, because your competition is just around the corner; if you have something to protect, register it as soon as possible.
Protecting your product or business brand is not something that should be taken lightly or ignored.
Protecting your patents
Patents can cover any sort of physical product or invention, development process, or piece of software technology. Though patents do not properly qualify as part of an IP and trademark/branding framework, they are related.
Make sure you adhere to the following three tips.
1. Maintain trade secrecy.
2. Enforce formal ownership agreements for IP.
3. Patent your inventions and IP as soon as possible.
Trademark protection is the core of an effective branding protection strategy; it is what covers all of your business specific logos, trademarks, and words or phrases.
Adhere to the following four guidelines:
1. Do a clearance search.
2. File a trademark application and protect your brands.
3. Cover all your brand bases.
4. Establish a clear IP licensing protocol.
Legal issues of copyright and brand identity
Copyright can’t be ignored if we’re talking about legally protecting brand identity; it is going to represent to the world what a very large part of what your business is about. Although many people think of copyright as being something that belongs more to musicians and book authors, its impact on your business brand has the potential to be just as important.
1. Mark your ownership officially and unofficially.
2. Clearly define copyright ownership.