Intellectual property rights refer to any copyrights, patents or trademarks. They are unique human creations that are intangible. Any discovery or invention would need to be protected against any unfair competition. The particular discovery is given a patent or a trademark to state that it cannot be subjected to imitation by another. Without intellectual property rights, a person would not reap the full benefits of his invention.
1. Trade secrets: Trade secrets refers to any secret technology or method that is used to fashion a unique device. The secret may be used to gain a competitive edge against a company’s competitors. For the long-term growth of the company, it is essential that this secret has to be protected and cannot be subjected to any imitation by another company or person. The secret used for trading is protected under the law of intellectual property rights. They are confidential information.
2. Patents: Patents are granted for an invention, provide all the details of the invention are disclosed to the public. Patents are granted for a certain number of years based on the type of invention. A patent refers to a claim wherein the law prevents any state or person from selling or copying or distributing that particular invention. A typical example of patents is utility patents. They are exclusively meant to protect machines, devices and any composite material.
3. Copyrights: Copyrights are similar to patents except that they are valid only for a limited time and expires after 50 to 60 years after the death of a person. Copyrights are territory bound. The law allows the holder of the copyrights to have some exclusive rights.
4. Trademarks: Trademarks are common in business places. Brands are another name used for trademarks. Each company would have a unique brand or product of its own. The law protects the product against any imitation or illegal distribution. The company that holds the trademark of a brand can only sell or trade that product in the market. A state trademark can be obtained by paying about $100 to $200. The federaluld trademark wo be more costly as the product or the invention has to be protected nationwide. The fee ranges from $275 to $375.
If a person has to benefit from his business, this requires the person to sell his ideas to another company to market his products, or he should market the product himself. The other way is to license out the product to another person or company. If a potential buyer is identified, the patent is sold on specific terms and conditions mentioned in the notary public. Decide on what terms would lead the product to get popularised before you sign the deal.