Intellectual property is a concept, idea or invention that stems from an individual or groups’ thinking. For many businesses and entrepreneurs, having some sort of registered intellectual property is desirable. Not only does it grant you exclusive or selective rights to use your creation, but it allows you greater control of how this invention will grow or be used in the future.
Intellectual property can be scientific and technical like a formula or product, or something creative and artistic like music. It can also be something more conceptual, like a brand. Today, we will be looking at three common types of intellectual property in Canada.
Copyrights are protection given to the control and usage of creative works. Musicians, artists and designers often rely on copyright protection so that others cannot steal or misuse their work.
Given how broad the creative sector is, copyright laws can be very extensive to navigate without a copyright lawyer or specialist. It can also be hard to monitor, catch, and respond to misuse of copyright without having someone knowledgeable about intellectual property laws in Canada or abroad.
A trademark is an important piece of intellectual property that helps protect your brand. Any entity found to be misusing your brand or trading identity could be sued or face harmful legal consequences. Getting a trademark can sometimes be more complicated that it may seem, especially if your brand has a phrase, sound or design that may not be fully unique.
With a trademark, your brand gets thorough protection from others trying to misuse it. A trademark made in Canada will typically last 10 years.
One of the most valuable forms of intellectual property, a patent gives the inventor a great deal of exclusive control over the production and distribution of their invention. Patents are typically applied to products, machinery, or technology. A patent is government-authorized and must be approved by them first like all forms of intellectual property.
Patent regulations vary by country, state or province. For example, in Canada a patent will last 20 years from the day you file your patent application.
Protecting Your Intellectual Property.
Ensuring your intellectual property is protected is not always the easiest of processes if you are unfamiliar with intellectual property (IP) law. It also needs to be carried out both thoroughly and quickly, particularly for certain trade secrets or patents that could become mainstream in an industry if left unprotected.
While you may consider getting a patent, trademark, or copyright on your own without any legal help, you might encounter barriers or challenges. For this reason, it is always a sensible idea to have an intellectual property lawyer by your side. They can guide and advocate for your idea, invention or brand throughout the process so that your creativity and hard work remains truly yours.