Wick & Trautwein, LLC
Call Today
Local: 970-237-5694
Toll Free: 866-686-1410

How do Fort Collins businesses protect intellectual property?

Creative ideas make each Colorado pizza shop, shoemaker or computer software company different from other businesses like them. Ideas aren't tangible, but they are just as important, if not more vital, to business success as physically perceptible property.

A lack of physical properties makes intellectual property vulnerable to theft. A copyright grants authors, filmmakers, musicians and songwriters, choreographers and other artists the exclusive rights to perform, copy, change and sell original works. Copyright laws safeguard the expression of ideas rather than the ideas themselves.

Patent laws give inventors exclusive but limited rights to manufacture, use or sell inventions like machines, chemical compounds or compositions and technical and manufacturing processes. The product's design is protected from use by others, without permission, for 20 years.

Trademarks are distinctive brand identifiers like the name of the social media website Facebook, the Nike swoosh symbol and McDonald's advertising slogan "I'm lovin' it." A trademark followed by ® indicates the word, symbol or phrase has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The unregistered trademark symbol is (TM).

Trademarks are valid as long as a business uses the identifier; registered trademarks are renewable every 10 years. Some trademarks fade over time -- McDonald's is likely to change its advertising slogan at some point, as the company has several times over the years, no longer choosing to identify with the "I'm lovin' it" tag line. Conversely, chances are slim Facebook would alter a well-established company name.

Trade secrets are not government registered. If a pizza sauce recipe contains a secret ingredient, it is in the owner's best interest to limit parties privy to the confidential information. Employees can be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements to establish a basis for a breach of contract case in the event the secret is leaked.

Civil lawsuits may be filed in intellectual property disputes. However, court battles can be avoided through settlement negotiations.

Source: Entrepreneur, "Intellectual Property" accessed Feb. 18, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Lead Counsel Rated | LC
  • BBB | Accredited Business
  • 10 Best 2017 Attorney | Client Satisfaction | American Institute Of Family Law Attorneys
  • Preeminent AV | LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell | PeerReviewRated
  • Best's Client Recommended Insurance Attorneys Listed Over 25 Year
  • Expertise Best car accident Attorneys in fort collins 2018

Fort Collins Office
323 South College Avenue #3
Fort Collins, CO 80524

Toll Free: 866-686-1410
Phone: 970-237-5694
Fax: 970-482-8929
Fort Collins Law Office Map

Windsor Office
421 Main Street
Windsor, CO 80535

Toll Free: 866-686-1410
Windsor Law Office Map

Review Us
Providing You With The Information You Need To
Make The Right Choices For Your Future

We Take Your Emails Seriously

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy