Intellectual properties (IP) simply refer to intellectual creations which are expressed either in tangible and intangible medium, depending on what type of intellectual property they are. Intellectual properties are categorized into various kinds; the more common ones are copyrights, patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and trade secrets.
Intellectually properties were once not considered as properties. They simply remain ideas. They are only considered today as properties because laws made them to be so. And now that they are already regarded as properties, they can already be owned, traded and sold, and even be stolen, more especially with the prevalence of Internet use.
While intellectual property owners benefit a lot from the Internet – as they can sell and trade their IP through it – they also suffer some drawbacks from Internet’s existence. On a daily basis, intellectual creations are stolen through the Internet. For example, songs and movies are downloaded for free without the consent of their producers, directors, artists, etc. This is a reality of life will continue to go on for at least the next few decades. While you can’t stop and destroy the Internet, you can still protect your intellectual property under Internet Laws.
- Know your laws. Intellectual property laws and Internet laws vary from one country to another country, and some times from one state to another state. Research and know what laws are applicable to you. If you’re not acquainted with legal language, consult a lawyer specialized in intellectual property laws and Internet laws.
- Determine under what category or kind your intellectual property falls under. Most probably, if you’re concerned with protecting your IP in relation to Internet laws, your IP is either a copyright, a trademark, or a patent. Copyrights are basically intellectual ideas that have literary, artistic, and literary value expressed either in a tangible medium or an intangible medium. Trademarks are signs, words or combination of both capable of distinguishing a product. And lastly, patents are products which involve an inventive step and which are capable of industrially worked and produced. It’s important to know which of these categories your IP fall under, as there are different laws for each, each of which requires different procedures on how to protect them.
- Invest in legal counsel. The best way to protect your IP is simply shell out some money for legal counseling or advice. Do not think that seeking legal advice is just another useless additional expense. It is actually a good investment. If you’re not a lawyer, do not attempt to learn laws by yourself. If you want to learn IP and Internet laws, at the very least, seek assistance from a lawyer.
- Register your IP. Most laws require you to register your work before you can seek protection under them. Registering intellectual properties serves a dual purpose. First, it is but a part of a process of initially determining the ownership of a work. And second, it allows the government to put up a list of creations and who owns them. This list is accessible to the public at all times. While in reality, intellectual property is created and owned from the moment of its creation, this is not so under the law. Most laws equate registration with ownership. Remember that you have to be the owner before you can file a case for infringement.