Intellectual property law is an ever-evolving legal landscape fraught with challenges. With an understanding of the fundamentals and the proper counsel, businesses and entrepreneurs can protect their tangible and intangible assets. For those based in New York, it is important to seek out counsel that are knowledgeable of the local regulations in consideration of these five key points.

1. Understand the Difference Between Trademarks and Copyrights

Trademarks and copyrights are two distinct forms of legal protection. Trademarks refer to distinctive words, names, symbols, and designs used to distinguish a business entity from others in the same class – for example, the ubiquitous Coca-Cola logo. As a holder of a trademark, you can prevent others from using the same or similar marks that will lead to confusion of your product or brand. On the other hand, copyrights protect creative expression such as art, literature, photographs, and more. Copyright holders have the right to control when and how their copyrighted material is used in any context.

2. Secure Patents That Protect Your Intellectual Property Assets

Patents are a special form of intellectual property that gives the inventor a limited time monopoly for their valuable invention. In order to qualify, the invention must meet three requirements – it must be novel, have utility, and be non-obvious. The patent application process is lengthy and complex, requiring specialized legal knowledge. As such, it is best to seek counsel to ensure that the application and subsequent maintenance of the patent are in line with local regulation.

3. Research the Proper Steps for Licensing Intellectual Property

Licensing intellectual property is typically done to exploit the value of the property in the form of payment. It is important to conduct thorough research on the proper steps needed to properly license intellectual property. Depending on the situation, the licensor and licensee must come to an agreement on how the license will be used and to what extent, including royalty rates, payment terms, and the duration of the license. Without proper legal guidance, this process can be complex and costly.

4. Develop an IP Strategy to Safeguard Against Infringement

In order to properly secure intellectual property assets, businesses must develop a comprehensive IP strategy. This includes conducting research to guarantee there are no similar products or services on the market, filing for the appropriate patents and copyrights in the relevant jurisdictions, and utilizing legal counsel to properly manage, protect, and license IP. Additionally, IP can be exploited as part of ongoing marketing efforts, such as leveraging a trademarked phrase to advertise a product in comparison to that of a competitor.

5. Choose the Right Legal Representation

Working with experienced counsel is key for protecting intellectual property. The right legal representation will ensure that IP is properly protected and all legal procedures are handled in accordance with local ordinances. To access local representation, consider UpCounsel, which leverages a vast network of lawyers that can provide high-quality, cost-effective legal services for businesses of all sizes.


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