It might take a very long time before you fully establish your brand name, but once you do that, you must do all you can to protect your creative ideas and products. Because there’s no better way of protecting your brand than with the law, utilizing copyright and patent laws are important for business, especially if you suspect that your ideas are being copied.
For more information on how to protect your brand, continue reading on.
1. Trademark Clearance Search
Naturally, any business owner will want their products to be associated only with their brand name. If someone is already selling identical products under a different trademark, your brand will be no longer protected, which is why you’ll need to know if your products (or their unique features) are already trademarked by doing a clearance search. This might include searching for existing brand names, symbols logos, images, taglines, etc. Several clearance search services can help you with, as they can easily conduct thorough research for a moderately cheap fee. You can also use the Trademark Electronic System which you can find at the Patent and Trademark Office website.
2. Trademark Registration
Ensuring that there are no claims on your products is important. Once you’re done with that step, you must file a trademark application. You will need registration forms, which you can find on the Trademark Electronic System for a small charge. Fill out these forms then submit them. Once you do this, you’ll wait for approval in a short period, but it is still important that you consult a patent attorney while waiting in order not to leave your products unprotected in the legal sense. Most likely, they might tell you to assign an SM or TM marker for pending trademarks. The former is applied to service-based trademarks, while the latter is applied to product-based registrations.
3. Patent Ownership
Creating a contract among partners is one of the very first legal steps you should take to protect your brand. The Orange County trademark specialists over at https://www.camutilaw.com recommend that you draft a formal contract in which the ownership rights of your partners and product developers are clearly stated. You should also include any pending patents and how intellectual property should be divided among you. To ensure that you have a foolproof, formal contract, you can hire a patent attorney to help you out with the legal minutiae. Contractual claims are impervious to any future ownership rights claims, so you won’t be facing any trouble in this regard in the future.
4. Copyright Ownership
Copyrights give protection for your work or products in a way that prevents third parties from copying them. Therefore, you must establish contractual agreements with third parties that use or write about your product. With the help of an adept attorney, you’ll be able to develop contracts that clearly state the company as the sole copyright owner. That way, you’ll add another legal layer of protection in case the third party is planning on using your written material for their benefit later.
5. Add an Intellectual Property Clause in Your Terms and Conditions
From a legal point of view, protecting yourself and your brand name in writing is of the utmost importance, especially in an active market. Thus, it is highly recommended that you add an intellectual property clause to your terms and conditions (T&C) and add them to your website and/or mobile app. Doing so will ensure that all rules and guidelines are within eyeshot of all users. Thus, you will have legal support should any incident related to guideline abuse occur. This should also give you solid legal ground upon which you can ward off copyright infringement or intellectual property theft.
6. Patent Privacy
Another thing to keep in mind is to maintain the intellectual property and patent-related developments well under wraps to avoid any issues in the future. Make sure that information related to your products can only be accessed by people who need to know about that information. Avoid at all costs leaking any sensitive details before the patent is in effect or at least pending. Once you get patented, contractual protection should help you claim your rights on your products with ease and prevent anyone from claiming ownership rights without having a previous agreement.
Being aware of the copyright and patent laws is the best way to protect your brand, original ideas, products, or anything else that is uniquely yours. If you don’t know the ins and outs of these laws, hiring an attorney with experience related to patents and copyrights will be of tremendous help to you. Consider using other methods to protect your brand, like using IP protection or setting up Google Alerts.