Intellectual Property is anything that you have created like an invention, literary works, brand names and designs. Anything you create is known as an Intellectual Property also known as IP and they are fully protected by Law through copyright, patents, and trademark so that you the author will possess sole authorization over how and who can use your work and distribute it.
It is a work over for one to protect fixed business assets like one’s stock, and equipment as they are tangible, but an IP which is a form of intangible asset is more difficult to protect. In order for you to mitigate the chance of your IP to get stolen, there is a need for you to secure your IP because in the event your business is built around your IP and someone copies it you are at the risk of loosing market share.
That is why this blog is important as it will provide you with the intellectual property law which is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 of the UK. This information will not only make you protect your IP but will also protect you from not inadvertently or advertently stealing someone’s IP.
How to Protect Your IP
Some IP are protected automatically while others require registration for protection. It is advised that you consider your business or idea to know which IP you have and what kind of protection it needs. We will be looking at the different types of IP protection.
Automatic IP Protection
Basically, copyrights are art, films, writing and literary works, music, TV, sound recordings, photography and web contents. The copyright law protects all these forms of copyright and disallows people from using any of your work that falls under these forms without seeking and receiving due permission from you or claiming it as their property. It is worthy for you to be wary of internet resources as they also fall under the protection of the copyright law.
Your copyright works does not need to be registered before it gets the protection of the Law, your work is automatically protected regardless of you choosing to mark your name with a copyright symbol or not.
How long does the Copyright Protection Last?
The span of time your copyright lasts depends on the type of work, but generally the protection of a copyright work starts as soon as your work is created. The varying span are;
Films- 70 years
Layout of your published editions of written, musical works or drama- 25 years from when it is published.
Broadcast- 50 years from its first broadcast
Written, dramatic, musical and artistic work- 70 years after the author’s death.
Sound and music recording- 70 years from when it was first broadcast.
This is similar to copyright in the sense that it arises when you create a design. This right protects the shape and configuration of the design of 3D objects as well shape and configuration of objects. The protection of this right last for 10 years after it was created or it was first sold.
Registration for Protection
As earlier stated, there are IP that require registration for you to be granted protection over it. We are going to now provide you with the other types of IP that needs to be registered.
This goes beyond protecting your designs. This right can protect your new invention like a machine or tool and how it operates. You will be eligible for a patent registration if your invention is something that can be made or used and it is also not something you made changes to that already existed.
Words, slogans, images and more can be protected as trademarks. This will make protect special brands. The condition your trade mark must meet is that it must e unique and not misleading in any way. To verify if your idea is original, visit the government website to confirm.
Intellectual Property Theft
When you use someone else’s IP advertently or inadvertently, you are in breach of the intellectual property law. To avoid this, before you design a product, trade mark or apply for a patent, it is ideal that you conduct comprehensive research and confirm that your idea is peculiar to you alone.
Another way to avoid intellectual property theft is for you to purchase or license other people’s IP. Other companies also license to to other companies their trade marks to use either through franchising or merchandising agreements.
It is tantamount for you to know about your products and which intellectual property right best ascribes to you. Having knowledge of this will also protect you from intellectual property theft which can make you liable to a huge fine. As a leading corporate law firm in the UK, we are willing to provide you with more information about your intellectual property right.
For more information about or any legal issues you may have ranging from , starting up a business in the UK and for all your business needs, advise, compliance and legal requirements in Middle East, Asia and Africa please feel free to contact us for a free Legal Advice Online.We are just a click away. We also assure you that we will tend to your requests.
We at eLegal consultants look forward to meeting you and ready to journey with you to realize your dreams. Contact us today.