There are many company owners who respond in the negative when asked if their business has any intellectual property worth protecting. They would be wrong. The name of their company alone is an asset that can be defended with state and federal trademark protection, and is probably one of the most valuable assets a business has.

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Many companies fail to recognize the intellectual property trade secrets within their business.  There are four different types of intellectual property protections available: Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

Patents

Patents protect tangible inventions.  The time it takes to get a patent for a project can take 12 months or longer.  When the process is complete no other entity can make or market the invention and the initial patent lasts two decades.  If there is competition in foreign countries, a patent can also be registered there. Mistakenly, countless companies design items or products to conduct business their way and do not apply for a patent, a mistake that could cost them their livelihood. 

Trademarks

A company can register its name, phrases, sounds or even symbols used with promoting their product.  This intellectual property is important to trademark in order to protect their established brand. Failing to register a trademark can lead to competitors impersonating a company and stealing customers.  This protection can last a decade and is able to be renewed in perpetuity. 

Copyrights

A copyright will protect written or artistic expressions in a fixed or tangible medium.  During the course of doing business, companies create sales and training materials as well as countless other documents that should be copyrighted.  Only the owner of copyrighted work will be permitted to reproduce the work in any medium.  Copyright lasts the lifetime of the author and an additional 50 years. 

Trade Secrets

A trade secret is any business information that has worth and provides value based on a formula, pattern, compilation of data and more.  This may include any form of information a company does not want known or used by their competitors.  In order for it to be protected, a trade secret must be proven to add value to a business.  Protection for trade secrets is covered by state and federal law. 

Identify the intellectual property in your business that can and should be protected. Contact Traklight today and learn more. Identify. Protect. Succeed!


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