Intellectual Property Basics for Business Owners

Report
Intellectual Property
Basics for
Business Owners
Fall 2013
David M. Knasel, Esq.
Dominion Business Law PLC
Tysons Corner | Leesburg, VA
www.dominionbusinesslaw.com
DISCLAIMER
• Information presented is for general informational
purposes only.
• It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon.
• Every situation is unique.
• Consult with an attorney for any specific case.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
• What is it?
• Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the
mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and
symbols, names, images, and designs used in
commerce. (WIPO website)
• Types of IP:
•
•
•
•
Trademark
Copyright
Patent
Trade Secret
TRADEMARK
• Definition – Any word, name, symbol or device used
to identify and distinguish goods (services) and to
indicate the source of the goods (services).
• How acquired – By using the mark in commerce in
connection with goods or services.
• Duration – As long as mark continues to be used.
TRADEMARK EXAMPLES
ExxonMobil™
Apple®
Allstate® Insurance
You’re in good hands with Allstate.
COPYRIGHT
• Definition – The exclusive right to reproduce,
distribute, etc. a work of authorship. (e.g. a book or
writing, visual artwork, movie, or musical piece or
performance)
• How acquired – By fixing the work in a tangible
medium of expression.
• Duration – Life of author, plus 70 years.
COPYRIGHT EXAMPLES
PATENT
• Definition – The right to exclude others from
making, using, offering for sale, or selling an
invention that is new, useful, and non-obvious.
• How acquired – By filing an application with the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
• Duration – 20 years.
PATENT EXAMPLES
TRADE SECRET
• Definition – Information that derives independent
economic value from not being generally known and
not being readily ascertainable and is the subject of
reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy.
• How acquired – By keeping it secret and deriving
economic value.
• Duration – As long as it is kept secret.
TRADE SECRET
EXAMPLE
Small Business IP Checklist
•
Company/Product Name, Logo, and Tag Line
• Check for possible conflicts / infringement
• Register Trademarks and use proper designation – TM / ®
•
Website
• Check domain name availability and possible conflicts
• Confirm ownership of design and content
• Use proper copyright notice – © 2013 ABC Company.
•
Employees and Workplace
• Confidentiality and IP Assignment Agreement
• Policies and procedures to maintain confidential business information
•
Intellectual Property Inventory
• Consider copyright and patents
• Technology licensing
• Contracts and transactions

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