How has your week been? Can you believe summer is coming to a close? It is strange to see all of the back to school commercials and advertisements. I have even seen Christmas decorations in some stores!
Last month, we focused a lot on contracts and how to draft them. Contracts are integral to business. Even if you don’t get it in writing, you still have an agreement that governs your relationship. Another level of legal issues you cannot escape is Intellectual Property. Intellectual Property affects your business in many ways. It will even dictate certain elements of your contracts. Especially if you are in software.
Intellectual Property is the expression of an idea.
It is difficult to find a business today that does not have some element of intellectual property in their business. Trademarks are more important than ever in the online environment. Content creation is taking over marketing. Intellectual property is where much of the value of a business lies.
But no one seems to understand it.
That is going to be the focus this month. We will be talking about intellectual property and how it affects your business.
We will be talking about the types of intellectual property, which are:
Copyright: The expression of an idea fixed in a tangible medium.
Trademark: A name or image that tells consumers of the origin of products or services.
Patent: Let’s just say we won’t go into to much depth on patents. Patents are a very specialized area of the law. Patents are one of the places it may not be wise to try yourself. Most lawyers, myself included, are not licensed or qualified to speak with much authority on patents.
We will also talk about the uses and protections for intellectual property. Some of the topics will include:
Infringement: Using someone’s intellectual property without permission.
Protecting Your Rights: When and how you should protect your intellectual property rights, and why it matters.
Fair Use: When you can use someone’s intellectual property without permission.
Business Uses of Intellectual Property: Intellectual property can be a source of revenue for your business. That could come in the form of licensing agreements, subscription agreements, royalties, book deals, movie deals. We will go through the different rights of intellectual property and how you can use those for your business. We will also talk about how to protect your business from giving away more than it should.
Registration: When is it time to register copyrighted works or trademarks?
Intellectual property is important because it touches on so much of the business community. Everything from branding to product development. It is important to understand what you are creating and what rights you have to protect. It is also important to understand what happens if you don’t take the appropriate steps to protect your business.
Last month we dug into some contract drafting language to dig deeper into contracts. This month, we will dig into intellectual property issues. There may still be some contractual language just for you.
As I am working on the content for this month, I would love to know what questions you have about intellectual property. You can reply to this email or leave me a voicemail to have it answered on the podcast!
I will talk to you next week, unless you talk to me sooner 😉