Business owners often benefit greatly from patents and copyrights because they essentially stop their competition from being able to use some of their most lucrative commercial assets. All companies, from cosmetics companies to logistics firms can benefit when they patent or copyright something of commercial value to them that is at risk of being used by others.
If you are starting to consider whether to protect your commercial ideas and inventions, you may wonder about the difference between patents and copyrights, as well as how the application process is completed. The following is an overview of the basics of copyrights and patents.
An overview of patents
A patent stops others from making, using, importing and offering for sale a certain invention or design. There are many different patents, ranging from utility patents that are concerned with new processes, machines, manufactures or composition of matter, to design patents that are concerned with the way a product looks.
How to apply for a patent
To apply for a patent, you must go through the federal registration system, and the “first to file” principle applies, meaning the first to file the patent will have superior rights.
An overview of copyrights
Copyrights are in place to. This could be any form of creative work, whether written, audio or visual. Pictorial, graphic and architectural works can be protected under copyright, but it doesn’t extend to ideas or procedures.
How to register a copyright
Copyrights are automatically in place when you create new work, so you don’t necessarily have to register the copyright to be protected. However, copyright registration is very inexpensive and helps you guarantee that you are protected legally from others trying to reproduce your work or to distribute copies of copyrighted work to the public.
If you are a small business owner with an interest into increase the competitive advantage of your company, make sure that you understand the more detailed aspects of the law.