An important consideration that is often overlooked by businesses and individuals is the protection of intellectual property (IP) by a Houston ip attorney. If your business or writing career has been built on a unique and profitable concept, it is at risk of being stolen. Intellectual assets are often more valuable than any other aspect of a business or creative concept. To avoid legal headaches and possibly great financial cost, purposeful steps must be taken. The goal is to ensure victory in the event of a legal battle over the true ownership of your IP. The first step is to understand what type of intellectual assets you have that need protection.

Inventions and Products

Patents provide exclusive rights granted to inventors and those who came up with the original idea for products. There are two types of patents. Design patents basically protect design and aesthetics. Utility patents guard rights to unique function. If there is any confusion about which is needed, it is best to speak to a patent attorney. Patents are quite costly. Though your invention may qualify for both patents, an attorney can help you sort out whether one will provide sufficient legal protection of your IP.

Artistic Works

Copyright describes the rights of the authors and other creators of artistic works. The types of intellectual property covered by copyrights include literary works, paintings, films, music, maps, photography, advertisements, architectural designs, and computer software programs. Unlike patents, copyright registration is inexpensive. Although a writer, for example, immediately owns the copyright to all of their works, a registered copyright is needed in order to have sufficient legal standing in the event the work is stolen. One benefit of registering your copyright is that attorneys’ fees in any lawsuit that may arise can become the responsibility of infringers.

Distinguishing Signs or Marks on Goods or Services

In ancient times, trademarks were used by individuals who put their “mark” or signature on their work. A trademark is still a symbol, a word, or a combination of both that set goods and services apart from competitors. Registering your trademark makes enforcement easier in the event of an infringement. This could be important to you because history clearly shows that valuable trademarks are easily lost. Famous examples of previously protected brands include “zipper,” “aspirin,” and “escalator.”

Secret Formulas and other Trade Secrets

A trade secret is a form of IP that you would not want to include in a patent since the details of an invention are disclosed to the public. If you have secret know-how, formulas, or essential information that gives you a competitive advantage, you have a trade secret that needs legal protection. For anyone with a valuable trade secret, a Houston ip attorney who specializes in intellectual property issues should be consulted for assistance in securing that secret.

Contact Zachary Hiller, IP Attorney

Competition is on the rise as the world is better connected than ever before. A common issue among inventors is that the design and even the packaging of their new products are rapidly being copied among competitors. The first step in making sure your IP is not at risk is to contact a qualified attorney who specializes in this area of law. With the help of Zachary Hiller, competitors can be prevented from reproducing and profiting from your innovation and all other types of intellectual property. Contact the office of Zachary Hiller for a free consultation at 832-830-8016, fill out our contact form, or send an email to zack@zhillerlaw.com today.

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