The Basics of Intellectual Property Protection

Valentine Adam Cottrill,
Abstract Intellectual property assets (inventions, designs, trademarks, and copyright) are often very valuable. All companies have intellectual property assets, although they are frequently not recognized as such. Cost-effective protection of intellectual property assets should be a key part of any company's strategy, and this is especially true where the company is involved in research and development. However, the opportunity to apply for patent protection is time-limited, and owners of inventions frequently lose the ability to seek patent protection due to their unfamiliarity with the relevant laws. The first steps to be taken in obtaining patent protection will be outlined. Also, basic steps toward protecting intellectual property generally (e.g., by having each new employee sign an appropriately-drafted employment agreement) will be summarized.
Keywords: Patents, Innovation, Development, trademarks, intellectual property, industrial designs, trade secrets, Research, copyright, licensing
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