What is Intellectual Property?
At Guardian Security and Investigations, we provide intellectual property infringement litigation and IP investigations at a professional level. Intellectual property is a term that encompasses four main types of intangible assets: copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets. There are instances when these areas are infringed upon and need to be properly investigated. An investigation into IP is much different than other types of investigations. So it is important that you turn to someone with experience in handling intellectual property infringement investigations and litigation.
Let's take a closer look at those 4 factors. If you think your IP has been infringed upon, please reach out to us today. Our staff will work tirelessly to defend your intellectual property and do everything in our power to win your case. At Guardian Security and Investigations, we handle a wide range of investigations that go beyond IP investigations. Check out all of services we provide clients. Other popular corporate investigative services include corporate due diligence & background investigations.
There is a formal process in order to obtain copyright that goes through registration with the United States Copyright Office. However, the copyright as a right exists the very second that a piece of work is created. So, if you can prove in a court of law that you are the true author of the work, then you will be copyright protected. Of course, exceptions do exist. For example, if a piece of work is deemed "for hire" when the work is complete by someone for his employer during the working hours. That likely will not fall under being copyright protected for you.
There are certain periods of copyright protection. That work is copyright protected 70 years after the death of the last surviving author, provided that the identity of the author is known. In a case where the identity is not known, then the copyright protection lasts 95 years from the date of the first publication or 120 years from the date of creation.
In 1998, there was the passing of the Digital Milennium Copyright Act. In a nutshell, this act provides the following:
- Copy-prevention of widespread digital media, such as DVDs and CDs.
- Limitation of ISPs' liability in events of their network being used by criminals to violate the copyright.
- Permission to copy licensed software for backup, maintenance and testing purposes.
- Explain how the copyright principles are to be applied to the always-growing sphere of webcasting.
Trademarks are words, slogans, or logos used to identify a company or company's products or services. As with the copyright laws, trademarks do not need to be registered to gain full legal protection. However, an official recognition can be given in order to decide if you want to register it with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The acceptance of a trademark as such hinges on two main criteria:
- It should not be similar to another trademark
- It should not be descriptive of the goods and services that the applicant offers. In the US, trademarks enjoy a 10-year initial period of protection. It can be renewed unlimited times.
With our intellectual property investigations, we will make sure the trademarks are in order and that you get the protection you have a right to.
A patent is used to protect inventions and will leave the exclusive rights about an invention in the hands of its owner for a period of 20 years. After 20 years has passed, the invention becomes part of the public domain and can be utilized by anyone. An invention such possess three prerequisites:
- Invention must be NEW.
- It must also be useful.
- And it cannot be obvious.
In the field of technology, patents covering hardware devices and manufacturing processes have been issued for many years now. However, there is still some uncertainty on how patents for software inventions would hold up to the scrutiny of most courts. If you have a case regarding a patent and need professional IP investigations into it, get in touch with us!
The knowledge of details related to a particular intellectual property can be a factor for business relations and someone could inflict a lot of damage if a competitor knew what made a product or service work. Or what makes a company unique and successful. Major companies have had cases in the past, such as the secret formula for Coca-Cola. In a case like this, the most appropriate tool to protect such intellectual property is through the use of instruments within the realm of trade secrets, such as not disclosing, not registering, and/or not preserving the secret by bounding employees by means of a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). The trade secret protection is the preferred method of IP protection for many companies, especially software companies. So if you believe you are a victim of the release of trade secrets, turn to our intellectual property investigations to get to the bottom of it!