The other day I posted information on patents and trademarks. Following up, here are 2 more ways (and their legal definitions) to protect intellectual property;
Copyrights Copyright laws protect written or artistic expressions fixed in a tangible medium – novels, poems, songs or movies. A copyright protects the expression of an idea, but not the idea itself. The owner of a copyrighted work has the right to reproduce it, to make derivative works from it (such as a movie based on a book), or to sell, perform or display the work to the public. You don’t need to register your material to hold a copyright, but registration is a prerequisite if you decide to sue for copyright infringement. A copyright lasts for the life of the author plus another 50 years.
Trade secrets A formula, pattern, device or compilation of data that grants the user an advantage over competitors is a trade secret. It is covered by state, rather than federal, law. To protect the secret, a business must prove that it adds value to the company – that it is, in fact, a secret – and that appropriate measures have been taken within the company to safeguard the secret, such as restricting knowledge to a select handful of executives