Intellectual property is a term that encompasses the law surrounding trade marks, copyrights, patents and industrial designs.
Trade marks are distinctive names, words, marks or designs that are associated with your wares or services in business. Trade marks are an integral part of any businesses’ branding strategy and can be used to prevent other businesses from adopting identical or confusingly similar marks in association with their business. From experience, we have found that many new businesses often make the mistake of adopting a business name that may infringe on another businesses trade mark. Alternately, many business names have little branding capacity because they lack distinctiveness due to the use of generic or descriptive wording in them.
Copyright is literally the right to copy something. Copyright is created in any work of art, music, drama or literature and extends to any performance of a work, any sound recording/performance of a work or broadcast of a work. The right to authorize the copying of any such work is a valuable right for any individual or business that creates such works. Conversely, obtaining a proper licence or transfer of ownership that allows a business to use any such works is equally important as failure to do could result in an infringement law suit being filed against you.
Patents are a form of protection created and granted by the government that allow inventors of novel invention new inventions (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter), or any new and useful improvement to an existing invention, to prevent others from copying their invention without permission.
Owen Thompson is a registered Canadian trade mark agent and practices in the area of trade marks, copyrights and licencing of intellectual property including patents, trade marks and copyrights. By applying to register your trade marks and copyrights, the protection of these forms of property can be enhanced over the protection provided by the common law. In addition to assisting clients in the registration of their trade marks and copyrights, we can also refer you to a registered patent agent that can assist our clients in the protection of their patent rights.
The licencing of intellectual property requires specialized agreements that ensure that the ownership of rights is properly maintained and that appropriate mechanisms are in place to track usage and recover royalties for the property licenced. We have been assisting clients in the negotiation of licencing agreements for over 15 years.
Should you have any questions about how to protect or licence your intellectual property, please feel free to contact us.