Whenever you create – whether it you’re making art, technological advancements or discoveries – you are investing time, effort and money into the production of something valuable. However, if competitors can take advantage of your creations without putting in the work, your efforts can go to waste. For that reason, protection of intellectual property rights is the first step to maximizing the benefits of your creative work.
Some forms of IP, like patents and trademarks, require registration for protection. Others, like copyrights don’t need registration to be protected – but demonstrating protected status without protection can be difficult, both in the USA and India.
Depending on the type of intellectual property being protected, there are three different types of protection available. Each form of protection applies to a different sort of property, and each comes with a different set of rights and different applicationprocedure. Understanding which is which is key to obtaining enforceable and complete protection.
Copyright: Copyrights protect original creative works. Anything that constitutes an artistic expression falls under this umbrella – and can be protected with a copyright. Novels, films, musical compositions, paintings – theses are obvious examples of copyrightable material. However, there are many non-obvious materials that fall under this heading – such as databases, sound recordings, advertising copy,websites, newspaper articles, and some forms of software code.
Copyrights provide somewhat limited protections, balanced against the longest period of protection. Copyrighted materials are also less likely to be limited or nationalized by the government, as their public utility is generally quite low.
Patent:Patents protect scientific advancements and useful devices. This includes machines, drugs, scientific processes, inventions, certain types of software, and technology. However, it also includes formats, layouts, and other aspects of design.
Patents provide the most protections of all, balanced against a shorter period of protection. Patented materials are also more likely to be limited or nationalized by the government in the public interest, as their public utility is generally quite high.
Trademarks: Trademarks protect the symbols, words, and phrases used to represent a company or product. This protection is made to prevent counterfeit or competing products from being confused for the products of the trademark holder
Trademarks provide limited protections, strictly restricted to specific commercial uses. Trademarks are also limited to avoid national symbols, deceptive symbols, or generic market descriptors. Trademarked materials are unlikely to be limited or nationalized by the government, as their public utility is generally negligible.
Trying to go through the copyright registration process alone can prove difficult without experienced legal advice. But we are here to help.
Our offices can help with the process of applying for the right copyright for you – whether for a composition, software, novel, film, database, or any other creative work. We also provide comprehensive consultation services – both for specific problems and overall legal advice.
At the Law Offices of Akash Kashyap, Esq., we use only the best copyright lawyers available, trained and licensed in the US and India. We provide these legal services both through our Indian offices in New Delhi and Gurgaon, as well as online.