It’s frustrating to have someone steal your creative ideas behind your brand because I know for a fact that you’ve put in a lot of thought and energy. The last thing you want is someone using them without your consent or written permission. We’ll talk about intellectual property here, which refers to the ownership of intangible and non-physical goods with the help of one of these 4 types of legal protections, including how much they will cost you. Any brand I create or work on myself, I make sure to have it registered, depending on the purpose. It’s the best way to protect your intellectual ideas.
TRADEMARK – ™️
A Trademark protects your logo designs. Having your logo trademarked will stop others from using it without your permission. A trademark protection length usually lasts 10 years, but it’s worth thinking also of it in terms of expansion.
When there’s no color claim made and the trademark is presented in black and white, which is common, the registration is assumed to cover your logo in any color you use.
If you have countries outside of the country where you’re from that you’d like to expand your business into in the future, the trademark should be registered in advance to avoid anyone else taking them.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is allows you to do an international trademark worldwide, and is protected in more than 90 member countries today.
How much will it cost you? 4/10, not so expensive.
With a trademark, you can pursue legal action when someone is using your logo or someone is using a similar logo for similar products or services, which causes confusion to the market. Also, when someone is intentionally imitating your logo which could take advantage, defraud or damage the integrity of your brand, that’s a good legal case that you can definitely win.
COPYRIGHT – ©️
A Copyright protects the original works of authorship including the drafts and finished works of photography,n design, art, illustration (not ideas), trends or styles represented in the works done. A copyright does not need to be registered so if you’re the creator of the work, you will automatically have copyright protection.
The Copyright symbol “©️” is a useful way to claim copyright. Put the mark on your work with the ©️ symbol along with your name and the year created.
Maintain a record of your research and development, from the initial ideas to the finished product. Keep note of exact dates, mistakes and changes, to have all the proof you need if it’s ever disputed. Copyright lengths cover protection between 50 to 70 years.
How much will it cost you? 0/10, meaning FREE and right away.
With a Copyright, you can pursue legal action when someone is copying, modifying or distributing your work without your permission. This includes when one is modifying parts of your work and your unique stamp of creativity is still evident in the design.
REGISTRED DESIGN – ®️
A Registered design is referred to as a DESIGN PATENT, which protects the look or appearance of a functional object or device. It protects the visual designer of the objects which includes the shape and composition of pattern or the color. Registered designs are only valid in the countries where the trademark is REGISTERED. A registered design lasts 14 years and is extendable.
How much will it cost you? 6/10, it will be a little expensive for a start-up company, but worth it.
With a Registered Design, you can pursue legal action when someone is using or applying your registered design to their own products without your permission.
UTILITY PATENT – PAT
A Utility PAtent will protect your functionality of new technical inventions not seen anywhere in the world. This is great for fabrics or if your design has a high techology aspect involved. It can stop others from producing, using and selling the invented technology without your permission. When a patent is granted the invention then becomes the property of the inventor, which can then be bought, rented, hired or sold like any other assets EXCLUSIVELY.
These are valid in countries where the trademark is registered only. An important point in this to remember also is that, should you apply for a patent in countries that you intent to trade in the future, don’t make it public or you will not be able to register the patent.
A utility patent lasts 14 years and is extendable.
How much will it cost you? 8/10, it could be really expensive and extensive when applying for one. I don’t know personally of anyone who owns a Utility Patent to this day. If you know someone, do let me know. I would like to meet them myself!
You can pursue legal action when someone is using or applying your patent to their own products without your permission or if someone made, imported or copied something very similar to your patent.
It’s always best to consult a Law Attorney any time you have a legal doubt or if you think someone is copying you. Hire a lawyer or ask the infringer to resolve the dispute with you, which is the easiest way. They’re expensive, but the cost will be minimal comparing it if you go to court instead. Court action is always the last resort to this.
Question of the day: Do you have any of these 4 intellectual property protection types under your name?