Protecting Intellectual Property

Are you on the edge about how important it is to protect intellectual property to your startup? Intellectual property protection used to be on the top of the list of things venture capitalists wanted to see in a startup. However, the success of high profile tech startups like Facebook and Twitter, that are comparatively weak on patentable intellectual property, might make you rethink about your strategy. Creating and maintaining a powerful intellectual property portfolio is expensive and patents do not determine whether a startup will be able to scale.

All startup businesses need to plant for success. If your startup business begins to scale up quickly, a strong IP (intellectual property) portfolio will be quite important in the long term. The world’s largest tech houses seem to agree on that including Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

Types of Patents
In the United States, patents may be available to any individual who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.” For getting patent protection you have to apply to the U.S Patent and Trademark Office.

There are three types of patents:
1. Utility patents that may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof;
2. Design patents that may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and
3. Plant patents that may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.

Trademarks
A trademark protects words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that differentiate goods and services from the ones manufactured or sold by others to indicate the brand or the source of the goods. Even though trademarks do not require registering with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office it can have several benefits. For more information you can go ahead and visit the U.S Patent and Trademark Office website: http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-process.

Copyrights
Copyrights protect the original work of authorship that includes literary, musical, artistic, dramatic and other works both published and unpublished. In the United States of America, the U.S. Copyright Office is the authoritative body that handles copyright registrations. Registering with the U.S. Copyright Office is not a necessity for protection but it has several advantages. For more information regarding copyrights and how you can get yours visit the U.S. Copyright Office website: http://www.copyright.gov/. Intellectual Property Lawyer Sydney

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