What Rights Does an Intellectual Property Owner Have?
If you own intellectual property, you have four major ownership rights: the right to use, the right to police, the right to license, and the right to assign. Helping IP owners understand and assert each of these rights effectively is a major part of our firm’s intellectual property law practice.
The IP owner is initially granted the exclusive right to use the property at issue. This comes with an attendant right to police your rights if you observe someone using your intellectual property without permission. Owners also can license intellectual property to another party pursuant to negotiated terms and conditions. The IP is still owned by the original owner, but the licensed party gains a concurrent right to use it. The intellectual property owner also has the right to transfer ownership of the IP by means of an assignment.
How Should I Protect My Intellectual Property?
In order to protect your copyrights, trademarks, and patents to the maximum extent, federal registration is often advisable. When it comes to trade secrets, the most important thing you can do is preserve the secrecy of the underlying material and put protocols in place to ensure that that secrecy is maintained.
Ironically, many owners go to the trouble of registering their intellectual property only to forget about it. This can result in your missing response and renewal deadlines, which can chip away at your government protections. Cataloging your IP is a good step to protect against this danger. Making sure that your IP is cataloged properly enables you to stay on top of your IP portfolio and maintain your registrations. Trademarks, for instance, need to be renewed once at the six-year mark, and then again, every ten years after that.
Other IP owners don’t bother to police their marks to determine whether they are being infringed or misused. This can lead to problems because a laissez-faire attitude toward your registrations can lead to an erosion of your rights as an IP owner. In trademark law, for instance, if you are aware of or allow someone else’s use of your mark, this can be used against you to invalidate your registration. Keeping a close eye on your registered marks is crucial and makes the best use of your IP resources.
For more information on Rights of an Intellectual Property Owner, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (571) 660-4077 today.
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