Common Misconceptions about Intellectual Property

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There are many myths about intellectual property, what it can do, who owns it and why it exists. In order to dispel these misconceptions, it is important to research what intellectual property the company or individual owns and why it is vital to the success of business interactions.

Many believe that a company owns once intellectual property, that anything created by employees or contractors is owned by the business. However, these persons have the full rights of ownership of these works unless certain factors exist with these situations. If the worker exercises his or her rights, it is possible he or she could go into business without the need of the company he or she works for. Then, only other IP not taken in these circumstances remains, and ownership is not transferred to the company. Some of these problems requires the use of a lawyer to determine how to resolve the matter.

Another myth that many believe no matter where they are is that a patent protects the owner around the world from reproduction and violations. When acquired in the United States, the patent protects these companies and individuals. However, when business expands to countries globally, a patent application needs filing in each individual nation so that business transactions with the creation may be sold in these locations. Then, unique patent laws are applied based on the area, and this does not necessarily include the same regulations found in the American country. It is best to hire a lawyer to learn of these differences and how to best protect the invention when doing business abroad.

Trademark Myth

What is said about patent protection is also true of a trademark. However, trademarks are even more complicated in that a trademarked brand may be registered for a single state, for the entire United States or globally. However, expanding requires checking the database for similar or the same symbols, phrases or names. If the trademark exists in the country, it cannot be used beyond a single state without a new registration with a different item used. For global protection, the owner must file applications with each individual country. There are also different trademark laws that may apply for different nations, and these could require additional time and energy in ensuring the trademark is accepted.

Scams through the Internet

There are numerous scams that are perpetuated online through the internet, email and chat. When one is received, the criminal may attempt to reroute the person through another website to steal login credentials. These appear official and from the actual site that the registration of IP comes from, but they are often not difficult to determine as a scam. The email generally contains the website address of another site where these details are stolen. Some of these are phishing attempts to steal bank account information and account data. Other scammers are looking for small fees for each person and may blast thousands of persons at once.

Copyright Symbol Explained

Before the electronic era, the copyright symbol must have an attachment to a work for it to have protections as intellectual property. If this was missing, it may have use by the public without repercussions. However, once laws changed, this was no longer necessary. There are numerous works in production that have no copyright symbol but are still covered through these safeguards, and individual consumers must contact the copyright owner for reproduction. If these persons do not acquire permission, they are in violation of intellectual property laws and could be sued. Much of this information is posted online through various legal sources. Additionally, anyone that uses copyright materials or creates a work based off of these could be in violation.

Trade Secrets Protections

Many consumers believe that trade secrets are protected universally. Unfortunately, these IPs are not safe in the same manner as other items. While a trademark is registered, a trade secret is kept secret and safeties are placed on it when all requirements are met. Enforcing litigation through the courts is hard to prove and could cause difficulties to the owner. The secret must be kept confidential, have a competitive edge for the owner and reasonable measures are taken to ensure the data is private and safe from disclosure to the public.

Intellectual Property Lawyer Help

It is important to seek the assistance of an IP lawyer to pursue action against violators. Additionally, these legal professionals may provide advice and information about how to keep IP safe and away from possible infringement.


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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