Copyright and Trade Marks are part of the Intellectual Property (I P) of a small business . They are often forgotten about until someone tries to take them.
What is Intellectual Property ?
- Patents for inventions
- Trade marks for Brand identity
- Copyright for written material and artistic works
- Designs for product appearance
These are assets of your business. You can sell, hire or licence them out.
Trade marks and content can easily be stolen or used without permission. It may be deliberate or can happen accidentally. Every business needs to know how to protect their assets.
There is no official register of Copyright. It is not necessary to take any action for your copyright to be protected. Copyright comes into effect as soon as something is created and recorded eg on paper, film or the internet.
It is advisable to mark your work with the copyright symbol © followed by your name and date.This is not legally required but helps if there is a dispute.
You can provide evidence you created work at a specific time by depositing a dated copy with a solicitor or bank or sending an unopened copy to yourself by special delivery.
A Trade Mark is a distinctive symbol that you use to make your goods and services immediately recognizable. It differentiates your products and services from those of your competitors and implies a consistent level of quality or service..
It can be for a specific product or represent your business as a whole and be words, sounds, logos and colours or a combination of any of these.
A Trade Mark is registered with the Intellectual Property Office and lasts for 10 years.
If you need help or advice regarding Trade Marks or Copyright