Colorado residents who own and operate their own businesses should know that they have legal rights where their inventions and technological advances are concerned. The legal system in our state provides a fair amount of protection for owners of both material property and intellectual property. If you find yourself locked in a business dispute over intellectual property ownership, you should know that you have legal rights that deserve to be protected.

Is a patent considered intellectual property?

Sort of; patents are documents that grant their owners the legally enforceable right to prevent others from using an invention. Patents are granted by the federal government. These documents provide comprehensive protection against someone “stealing” your idea for a full 20 years after the initial documents are filed.

Why should I consider obtaining a patent?

The benefits of obtaining a patent are manifold. First, many companies spend vast sums of money developing new inventions. All of that research and development could be for naught if you allow others to copy your product. Patents protect inventors by allowing them to secure the exclusive right to produce and distribute a particular item. Further, the company or individual can secure further income by selling or licensing the patent to other entities.

How do I get a patent?

Patent law can be somewhat complicated; for that reason, experts recommend the use of an attorney with experience in intellectual property law. Your attorney can help you file the appropriate paperwork to ensure that your invention is protected. For instance, you must prove that you or your organization developed the product before it was created by anyone else. Further, the item must be deemed patentable by federal officials. Filing the correct paperwork in a timely manner can help increase your likelihood of protecting your invention from those who would otherwise exploit your work.

Source: American Intellectual Property Law Association, “What is IP Law?” Sep. 30, 2014