How much do you know about intellectual property?
All businesses use intellectual property. Whether it is the name of the business, its logo, the software it uses or the documentation it produces, intellectual property is being created or reused on a daily basis. For technology and advertising businesses, intellectual property is one of the most valuable assets and it is important that those businesses are able to protect those assets. To do this it is important to know what types of intellectual property rights exist and how those rights can be obtained and protected. This might seem obvious. However, there are many common misconceptions surrounding intellectual property. Can you identify the myths from the following statements?
- A patent gives worldwide protection.
- In order to protect technology, a business must apply for copyright.
- If your company is registered at Companies House with the name ABC Limited you will own the rights in the ABC name and can prevent others from using it.
- Businesses automatically own all intellectual property created by their employees and contractors.
- If something is in the public domain (such as on a website), you are allowed to use it.
How many did you get? 2? 3? In fact all of the statements set out above are false. These are just some of the misconceptions which we have seen businesses fall foul of, resulting in lost assets or costly litigation. If you are interested in knowing more about intellectual property and how it relates to your business, we will be publishing a series of ‘back to basics’ articles aimed at giving businesses the knowledge needed to protect, exploit and defend valuable intellectual property rights.