This article is aimed at people who have little to no contact with the subject matter, intellectual property. Here we will be going through the key topics, facts, and issues of intellectual property law.
The types of IP (Intellectual Property)
Patents, registered designs, trademarks, and domain names are some of the IP rights that require registration, and this marks the first type of IP. The other type is the one that doesn’t require registration like copyright, common law trademarks, unregistered design right, and confidential information. Different types of IP are utilized towards protecting different things.
A legal right that enables the owner of an invention to stop others from using that invention is called a patent. Patents are usually associated with technical designs, but if something that solves a problem has been developed, then that too will be a patentable invention. A patent needs to be granted first before it can be enforced.
Signs like words or logos that distinguish services and goods from one business to another in the marketplace are called trademarks. Trademarks generally relate to branding. If you have ever sold a product or a service under a brand name, then you have dealt with trademarks.
Designs protect the shape and visual appearance of a product. Designs can be obtained for a three-dimensional product like an iPhone or a two-dimensional product like logos or symbols, typefaces, or other 3D objects.
Don’t disclose patents.
It is imperative to not disclose any information regarding your invention publicly, including details on your website, etc. Before filing a patent application. Because such disclosures can be used against you when the Patent Office is examining the patent. Disclosures before the application could preclude you from getting the patent granted.In some cases, you may need to share the information of the invention outside of the company with an investor or a developer, in such a case you can either make a confidentiality arrangement or you can think about filing the patent beforehand.
IP rights are territorial.
IP rights such as patents, registered designs, and trademarks are territorial and can be infringed when the IP right is in force. In other words, this means that you will need to consult your IP advisors where the protection is required; it might be where you are selling the goods or at your manufacturing base or where your competition may be.
When you are identifying the IP rights that apply to your business, it is significant to keep in mind that while a domain name and company name might be available, but you are not yet clear to use that in the business. One should first clear a trademark for registration and use before considering a new branding exercise.
People tend to give in to the misconception that software-based inventions cannot be patented while there may be other additional issues to consider when hardware inventions are compared to software inventions, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that software inventions cannot be patented. Check with a patent attorney in such a case to get the best feedback.
Patents have reduced the corporation tax liability for many in the UK. The UK government in 2013 introduced lower corporation tax rates on European patents that have been generating excellent profits. The patent box regime can prove to be beneficial for your company; you can get a quick assessment done by a patent attorney in such a case.
The subject of Intellectual Property Law can be confusing, but we have listed all the necessary things that you need to know. There is a whole lot of information online that can answer your specific queries. This was all about IP laws in 2019.