Previously in this blog, we have discussed how important it is for businesses to protect their intellectual property. However, protecting intellectual property is not something reserved for business entities; individuals can also benefit from such protections.
If you work in certain capacities - like design, writing or other creative roles - it can be important for you to understand what intellectual property you might have, as well as why you should protect it.
Is it intellectual property?
Some of the most common examples of intellectual property that an individual might have include:
- Music lyrics or original songs
- Artwork for books or albums
- Literary works
- Logo designs
- Building designs
- Architectural plans
- Computer software
These are just some of the examples of things individuals create that can warrant protection in the form of patents or copyrights; any creation of the mind can be intellectual property.
Do I really need to protect it?
As this recent article notes, many individuals fail to appreciate the value of their intellectual property and the importance of protecting it. Often, individual creators feel there is nothing to protect until someone buys their product or service, or that something must be fully created or fleshed out in order to be eligible for protection.
But the fact is that these protecting these works as soon as possible can be crucial, especially if you plan to share them with others and don't want them to take your ideas.
That same article also explores a few ways creators can protect their work. For instance, creators can document discussions that refer to the creation. They could request that other parties with whom they share their ideas sign a non-disclosure agreement. They might also register trademarks.
Covering your legal bases as a creator
Californians who work as creators know how difficult it is to come up with novel ideas and services, so it can be a costly mistake to not protect them. If you have intellectual property you want to protect or if you want to take action against parties for unauthorized use, you can discuss more about your legal options with an attorney experienced in these cases.