In today’s knowledge-based economy, it is vital to protect your intellectual property from theft or misappropriation. Creating a new product or service requires heavy investments in time, brainpower, and skilled labor, all of which should be protected with intellectual property law. Read on to learn more about intellectual property. Here are a few common examples of intellectual property. Let’s discuss design patents and the misappropriation of trade secrets.
The law protects trade secrets from public access, as well as theft and acquisition by competitors. Trade secrets may include engineering information, business and financial information, and lists of customers and profitability. This “negative know-how” is often just as valuable as a working product. In addition to products and services, trade secrets may include marketing data, computer programs, source code, and research and development information. Some countries permit injunctions to prevent others from using or disclosing these secrets.
Under the EEA, individuals and corporations may be prosecuted for misappropriating trade secrets. Violations may result in fines of up to $5 million or up to 10 years in prison. The government has the right to sell the proceeds of trade secret theft, as well. Regardless of the jurisdiction, trade secrets are valuable and deserve protection. Despite the risks associated with trade secrets, the law makes it easier to protect these valuable assets.
A design patent is an example of an enforceable patent. A patent granted for a design can protect a specific design, not multiple designs. In order to obtain a design patent, an inventor must first obtain one patent for the invention, and only that patent may be used as a basis for the prosecution of a subsequent design patent application. If more than one design is claimed, the applicant must file a separate divisional application to protect the design in question.
A design patent can protect nearly any type of manufactured article. While the design patent application phase lasts only a year or so, it can prevent competitors from copying a design without a license. Additionally, a design patent can stop competitors from copying the product’s unique features and generating a large settlement payment. Those who have successfully obtained a design patent may benefit from other aspects of the law as well.
Utility patents protect an invention’s functionality and method of production. Utility patents are typically more costly and require more legal assistance than design patents. This is because they are more difficult to issue due to certain factors, but the protection they provide is often greater. Additionally, they are stronger coverage than design patents. This is because a utility patent requires you to bypass some of the claims that a design patent does not.
When applying for a utility patent, there are several things you should know about the requirements of a utility patent. One of the most important requirements is novelty. A utility patent will protect your idea for at least 20 years. The term of protection varies from country to country. In general, however, it will last for at least 20 years. You may need to pay annual maintenance fees, depending on the country’s laws.