Intellectual Property: Does Common Law Really Play a Role?

intellectual property

While there are the numerous headaches that abound in creating a company, much of the process is incredibly exciting and fulfilling—especially if you are offering a new and unique product or service to the public. You or your company overall may also be responsible for creating valuable intellectual property. This could result in the need for copyright protection, warding off infringement of works such as art, literature, music, or even architecture or software. Trademarks or service marks are licensed for branding identifiable symbols or logos, or slogans that identify what you do.

Intellectual Property Belongs to You as Soon as You Create It

You may be surprised to find out, however, that as soon as you created that artistic expression or symbol of your brand, it became yours—with no further action required. Common law does indeed apply to items that fall under the definition of a copyright or a trademark or service mark and may even be enough of a defense if someone attempts to steal your work. What are the benefits of just allowing yourself to be covered by common law? One, it’s effortless. Two, there is no more expense involved, unless you are drawn into a costly legal battle to protect your intellectual property. Be aware though that protection only applies to use of the products or services within the area they are expected to be in use.

Registering Your Work is Recommended

Common law gives you basic rights to, and coverage for what you have created, but without going through the U.S. Copyright Office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, you may be out of luck later if you find yourself in a situation where you are up against another party that stubbornly wants to use your material, and may have considerably more resources to steamroll over you. When your work is registered, it also shows up in searches when others are trying to find out whether there is something similar in existence; if you are not listed in that database, you could be opening yourself up to complication.

Figuring out how to protect your company’s intellectual property may seem like a daunting task, but with the help of an experienced intellectual property attorney, you can gain more of an understanding of how the process works, as well as its importance. An attorney will also be able to explain to you what types of licensing or registration to apply for and take care of it for you. While you may not see a dire need currently, this type of protection could prove itself to be very valuable later.

Call Us for Help!

The Bolender Law Firm can assist you in all intellectual property matters. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

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