You Have An Idea – Now What? Protecting Your IP For Startups
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What the heck is this legal mumbo jumbo and why do I care?
How Do You Define An Idea? i·de·a [ahy-dee-uh, ahy-deeuh]* noun 1. any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity. 2. a thought, conception, or notion 3. an impression 4. an opinion, view, or belief 5. a plan of action; an intention *idea. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/idea (accessed: February 20, 2015).
TRADEMARK ™ ® Trademarks identify the source of the goods or services of one party by distinguishing them from those of others Trademarks can be phrases, colors, sounds, graphics, and even smells The use of TM represents that you claim trademark ownership in the mark preceding it, but it isn’t necessarily registered The use of SM shows that it is a trademark which describes a service The use of the ® means that the trademark is registered with the USPTO
WHY REGISTER MY TRADEMARK WITH THE USPTO? ™ ® You are entitled to exclusive use of the trademark throughout the United States for your particular category of goods or services You can prevent others from using a trademark which is identical to yours for the same type of goods or services You can prevent others from using a trademark which is confusingly similar to yours for the same type of goods or services
TRADE DRESS The characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging that signify to the consumer the source of the product.
COPYRIGHT © What is a copyright? Copyright is the protection of the expression of an idea It protects artistic works, as well as content on a website and any written works It also protects graphics and product labels A copyright typically lasts for the creator’s life plus 70 years Who owns the copyright? The creator owns the copyright Exceptions: (1) employment; (2) work for hire
WHY REGISTER A COPYRIGHT? © Money Actual damages as a result of the infringement (also available when not registered) Statutory damages – if they knew they were infringing, up to $150,000 per instance of infringement Attorneys’ fees and costs for pursing the infringer Injunction A court can stop the bad guy from using your work
PROTECTING YOUR IP Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) Confidentiality Agreement Independent Contractor Agreement Work For Hire Agreement Employee Handbook Written Policies
LEVERAGING YOUR IP
WHEN DO YOU NEED A LAWYER?(THE IP EDITION)
SOCIAL MEDIA AND IP
ANONYMITY IN SOCIAL MEDIA
www.uspto.gov/trademark www.copyright.gov www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/list/a_agents.html www.chillingeffects.org/dmca512/faq.cgi www.creativecommons.org www.flickr.com/creativecommons Useful Links For Intellectual Property
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