In the world we live in today it seems that everyone is trying to come up with something new to make all the things we already have better. Every year we are seeing updated models of phones and cars to choose from but it’s not just the large purchases, it’s also the smaller purchases we make in day to day life.
Depending on your ideas there are 3 different ways to make it so no one else can claim that idea as their own. What type of idea you have will determine if you need a patent, trademark or copyright. If you are in search of an Idaho patent attorney, contact Beard, St. Clair, Gaffney for your patent needs.
Patents are the most commonly known ways to protect ideas. They serve the purpose to protect an invention that you have which gives you the rights to the invention. This means that no one else can try to replicate and/or sell your invention. Most of the time if you get a patent for your invention it is then protected for up to 20 years from others. If you have an idea for a new invention then you have to apply for a patent. In order to apply for a patent you have to give detailed information about it. You also need to do Patent search to ensure that no one else has patented the same idea as yours. There are 3 different types of patents which are Utility Patent, Design Patent and Plant Patent. What kind of invention you bring to the table will determine which patent you will want to obtain.
Trademarks are less tangible but you see them everywhere you look. Anything that instantly identifies a company is considered to be a trademark. For example, as soon as you see golden arches in the distance you know there is a Mcdonalds ahead. The moment you see a little silver apple icon with a chunk missing you instantly know that it is an Apple product. Symbols such as those are trademarks but also jingles, slogans, a scent, or even a color. Pretty much anything that helps consumers identify a company that sells products or services is considered a trademark. The orange that is used by Reese’s is trademarked which makes it so that it can only be used on Reese’s food products. There are 4 categories of trademarks which are coined, arbitrary, suggestive and descriptive.
For anything that is more of a creative idea you will probably end up needing a copyright for your idea. Copyright is to protect creators of things that fall into the categories of books, films, music and similar creative outlets. This gives the creators the right to choose how their materials are used as well as who can replicate their work and how it’s done. This gives the creator all the power which is the purpose of the copyright. In order for there to be a copyright it does have to be in a tangible form. In the United States copyright laws protect your creation until 70 years after death before others can have access to it.
Which is Best for You?
Choosing the best way to protect your idea will all depend on the idea that you have. If it’s a tangible invention then you are going to need a patent. If you are wanting to protect something that helps identify a company that is selling products or services, you will want to get a trademark. If you have more of a creative idea that has to do with music, books or films than you will want a copyright once you have put it into tangible form.