Intellectual property rarely takes a physical form but can still be one of the most valuable assets a business can own.

What is intellectual property?

February 3, 2016 5:44 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Unlike equipment or a building, intellectual property (IP) rarely takes a physical form but it can still be one of the most valuable assets a business can own. As such, it is as vital to make sure that your intellectual property copyrights are protected as it would be to keep cash safe.

What is intellectual property?

IP is traditionally defined as "any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others." This boils down largely to an idea, but could take the form of a specific work of art, an invention, a distinctive word or phrase or a fictional character or setting. The specific forms of IP, as well as the overriding ideas behind them, are protected by a legal copyright — or trademark or patent, as the case may be — which establishes the author or business as the exclusive rights holder and owner of the piece.

How do I protect my intellectual property?

Intellectual property can be difficult to control since, by it's nature, it is neither physical nor finite. As Thomas Jefferson put it:

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it.  Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it.  He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

What he was referring to is the fact that, even when IP is stolen or used by another party, this does not deprive the owner of the ability to use the IP how they wish. This is, however, still illegal, and can be detrimental since it may dilute the value of the IP or deliver an off-brand message.

Protecting your IP is vital, and the asset protection attorneys at The Law Offices of Donald W. Hudspeth, P.C. understand this. Give us a call today to see how we can help. 

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