Intellectual property

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    Intellectual property is most likely the most valuable asset of any corporation nowadays. This is once again reconfirmed by the development of large digital age businesses relied entirely on intellectual property features. Whether it’s copyrighted software, a proprietary process, technology, or popular product brand, all these things can be called intellectual property. It can add competitive advantage and a significant difference to your commercial company letting it go ahead of your competitors in the never-ending pursuit of customer preferences. This is your added value based on expertise and technology in the market, being also one of the key factors in evaluating your company.

    What is Intellectual Property

    The term intellectual property refers to a number of intangible assets, such as copyright, patented inventions, and trademarks. Intellectual property ownership is a key source of income, whether it is licensing and exploitation of intellectual property rights or the commercialization of copyright-protected products and services. Intellectual property also may be essential in making investment decisions to receive funding, and it can also be used in implementing strategies to correct the tax burden. As an intangible asset, it can be stored almost anywhere, providing structuring flexibility, which has traditionally been used in international tax planning structures to mitigate tax liabilities.

    From a commercial and financial perspective, your reproductive rights should be protected to maintain your unique market position and your comparative advantage or to avoid opponents benefiting from reputation, research achievements, new product development, and trade secrets.

    Types of Intellectual Property

    So, what is intellectual property and its types? Many different objects of intellectual property exist. The presence of a clear separation allows us to understand the features of each group and to carry out a certain classification for subsequent practical application. First of all, there are two large categories.

    Industrial property

    This includes everything that affects the competitive advantage and allows achieving low-cost availability, make the product recognizable, increase its sale price. In other words, it concerns the manufacturing and trading sectors. This category includes:

    • registered trademarks and service marks;
    • ownership of industrial designs;
    • patents for unique inventions;
    • scientific and technological progress achievements;
    • trade secrets (know-how).

    Copyrighted creative works

    These include:

    • rights to literary and musical works;
    • artworks (drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photographs);
    • software;
    • architectural projects.

     

    Intellectual property cannot be transferred since it is not a material object. You can transfer only the rights to it, especially in the case of the exclusive right.

    How to register intellectual property

    If business owners want to maximize the benefits of intellectual property, it is necessary to analyze the existing intangible assets, clearly understand what is intellectual property rights and how they could be obtained.

    Legal protection of design

    Such intellectual property’s forms as projects or finished designs are mandatory to be protected. Products of this category include all types of inventions with graphic symbols, logos, inscriptions, and names allowing identification of a company or its representative offices. The key condition to register a design is that it must relate to new or original creations. Depending on the country of registration, design property rights have a validity period of 5 to 25 years with the right to renew (theoretically endlessly).

    Trademarks and service marks

    Trademarks belong to marketing tools and require protection from plagiarism and illegal actions of third parties. It is important to consider that trademarks require registration in each of the jurisdictions covered by your business (except for EU trademarks that are not national). Depending on the country of initial registration, trademarks may have a 10-year validity period with the right to renew or cancel. In this case, the intellectual property business in the form of trademarks and service marks is the property of a particular company with the right to sell it or license. It should also be considered that large companies can protect their own trademarks under the Madrid system of international registration of marks.  It works in more than 90 countries covering the EU, the USA, and Asia.

    Registering patents for unique and non-obvious inventions

    Such an intellectual property protection tool implies exclusive rights to use a process or product. However, this method can be safely called the most complex and expensive since the invention must be at a scientific level, offer a unique solution in a specific situation, and be able to be applied on an industrial scale.

    The standard term for protecting industrial property with a patent is 15-20 years. During this time the owner has the right to prohibit or restrict the use of the invention by third parties. Then it goes into the status of a pending patent or is subject to renewal (for example, using the USPTO in the United States).

    It is important to consider that a patent may be subject to registration in each of the countries it applies. That is, a patent granted in one state may not be subject to protection in another state. Ask our specialists about the detailed information concerning the patent using.

    Scientific and technological achievements (utility model)

    The protection of such assets gives the right to use unique technologies in your business and can be combined with the use of patents. Depending on the location, a utility model may require additional registration when exporting to other states. The validity period of utility models is 7-10 years. A patent for this asset is issued only after a qualification examination confirming the uniqueness of the product or process. This type of intellectual property must not conflict with generally accepted rules of humanity, public order, and morality. Companies owning the property in the form of technological achievements should take into account that the UK, USA, and Canada do not allow the registration of such assets, but there is the possibility of obtaining a patent for a utility model.

    Copyright protection

    The category of copyright includes intangible and tangible assets in the area of artistic creation. This intellectual property type includes creations of intellectual labor and certain creative talents. In this case, the creator needs to protect own rights to the invention, which allows prohibiting or allowing any partial or full reproduction of the asset. As a rule, copyrights come automatically, but you can use the registration for full protection against misuse, with later transferring the rights and receiving royalties.

    How to protect intellectual property

    Legal protection of intellectual property means:

    • Avoiding situations of misuse of your assets by competitors;
    • The value added to the international and local market.
    • Maintaining a unique market position.
    • A key factor in evaluating your company and the whole business.
    • Keeping trade secrets to avoid plagiarism of the product.
    • High business valuation when merging or acquiring shares.

     

    Our specialists are ready to provide you with high-quality assistance for protecting your intellectual property considering not only all legal, regulatory, and tax elements, but also commercial needs, priorities, and goals of your business. Our goal is to provide you with legal benefits from protecting your assets, managing risks, and minimizing taxes.

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