Intellectual property rights are a hot topic in business law and litigation. The capitalistic system of American business provides a wealth of opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses alike. However, the pace is fast and ever changing. As a result, it is important that you apply for the proper protections to keep your business yours. From trademarks and patents on to copyrights and more Oklahoma businesses have many options available that protect their intellectual property.
Intellectual Property Types
There are several types of intellectual property that the law protects. The protection is given to those businesses that apply for those rights under both state and federal law. Once you’ve asserted your right to intellectual property the law provides you protection free from those who might copy or use your products, process or art for their competitive advantage. There are five common categories. Depending on your business or type of property, you will likely fall under one of these.
A copyright is essentially a protection for anything that is your original authorship. In most cases, this is something artistic, literary, or musical. However, computer software and architecture also receive protections. There are no requirements that you register your work. However, if at any time you want to bring a suit or any type of litigation, you must be registered.
Patents, unlike copyrights, protect inventions and discoveries. When you apply for and receive a patent, this will exclude others from creating, using, or selling your invention or discovery. But this exclusionary period is only for a set time. When the patent runs out, your competitors will be able to capitalize on your invention or discovery. Generally, a patent can last from 14 to 20 years.
Trademarks in Oklahoma
Trademarks operate mostly in marketing of brands. As a result, trademark protections regard words, symbols, or phrases that identify your brand or business. This category is extremely flexible under law. But, you must get a trademark if you are going to sue anyone in court for trademark infringement.
Trade Secrets are an incremental part of competitive businesses in the United States. These are typically the processes, formulas, or designs of a good or service of your business. Protecting trade secrets are a top priority as they provide your business a competitive edge in the market.
Finally, licensing is a less obvious form of intellectual property rights. It allows a person holding rights in any of the above categories to “license out” or let someone use their property. Thus, the licensee can legally use the property in a manner such as licensing coffee shops from a national brand. This does open avenues for increased competition in the future though.
Tulsa Intellectual Property Attorneys
Oklahoma businesses, like any other, are subject to the federal laws. Therefore, it is important to protect your intellectual property rights on a state and national basis. Our Tulsa business attorneys can help walk you through this process and ensure you get the protections your business needs. Your initial consultation with our Oklahoma attorneys is free and confidential. 918.743.2233