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3 Ways to Celebrate World IP Day

By: Ambur C. Smith, Esq.

Since 2000, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has recognized World IP Day on April 26th; creating an annual opportunity to celebrate innovation and illuminate issues related to the development, protection and monetization of ideas, artistic creations and inventions of the mind. This year's theme is IP and SDGs: Building Our Common Future with Innovation and Creativity; an ode to the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the centrality of IP to facilitating progress across the globe. In solidarity with members of a diverse IP ecosystem, we've compiled a list of three ways to celebrate, ensuring you are well on your way to protecting your billion dollar ideas.

  1. Visit the US Patent and Trademark Office and US Copyright Office websites to learn more about the various forms of IP.

Copyrights. Trademarks. Patents. Trade Secrets. All of these are different forms of IP that can be owned, protected and monetized. However, the process to assert ownership, enjoy protection, and use each form of IP in commerce differs. As such, to ensure you aren't just taking our word for things, visit the websites of the government agencies who control the IP registration processes and develop a base line understanding for future reference.

If you have plans of expanding your business/brand abroad, don't stop at the US agencies; check out international IP related government agencies and laws as well (i.e. - China privileges those who file their trademark applications first over those who actually created or used the mark first in commerce; therefore, filing early is even more important when expanding to China).

2. Take inventory of the intellectual property you currently, and plan to, own.

Have you formed a company? Created products or services unique to your business or industry? Contemplating ideas that haven't quite manifested into anything tangible? If you answered yes to any of these questions, there's a good chance you have intellectual property worth protecting. Luckily, even before registering your IP with the agencies mentioned above, you have what are called common law rights; these are rights automatically granted under state and federal law by virtue of your role as the original author or creator. However, registration enhances your rights by ensuring there is proof of your ownership and granting you access to exclusive remedies when others attempt to copy and steal your brilliant ideas. Therefore, the sooner you can make a list of IP eligible for registration, the better.

3. Book a consultation to begin developing the IP strategy you deserve.

Now that you've done your research and taken inventory of your IP, you're ready to meet with professionals who can help you transform this newfound understanding into a strategy that contemplates your unique short and long term goals. That's where we come in. Already booked? Refer an innovative friend. In this case, sharing is absolutely caring.

As outside general counsel to clients across industries, we strive to protect your billion dollar ideas and legally prepare you for success. Specifically, our business formation and trademark packages offer holistic approaches to establishing a solid legal foundation and protecting the names, logos and slogans that help to distinguish your brand from competitors. For those farther along in their business venture, our contract drafting and negotiation support can ensure the intellectual property isn't compromised as you form new business relationships. To develop a strategy that contemplates this and more, reach out today.

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