How Can You Legally Protect Your Intellectual Property?

Posted on: 8 August 2019

When you create your own product or idea, you need to take steps to protect it so no one else attempts to use it. Here are some different legal methods you can use to protect your intellectual property:


 A copyright is typically used with an artistic production or another creative work. A copyright grants you the right to distribute your work to those you choose. You can copyright a number of properties, including books, paintings, computer programs, and internet publications. You have to provide permission to anyone before your work can be sold or distributed.


A patent is a protection provided by the US Patent and Trademark Office. You receive a patent when you create an invention or process. The patent will prevent others from creating, manufacturing, or selling your idea. The patent is a legal document that fully divulges the details of an invention or process.

A product or process can be patented if it is considered useful and not an obvious idea that is already available. You may not patent an idea, a theory, or a scientific principle. You may also not patent anything that is already in use.


A trademark is not an official document, but a mark that shows that you own the property. Trademarks are often used for images like a logo, font, or blog design. The initial owner of the trademark will be the first person or business to actually use the mark. If you own a copyright, you should also consider a trademark for your copyrighted work. If you wrote a novel, for instance, the logo for the novel needs a trademark to prevent its use by others.

To register a trademark, you need to apply through the US Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO only registers a trademark; you have to make sure the trademark is enforced. Before you begin, do a search of the USPTO to make sure your trademark is not already in use. If you are foreign domiciled, you need an attorney who is licensed in the United States to represent you during the registration process. If you are domiciled in the United States, you do not need a trademark attorney, but you are strongly advised to have one help you through the application process. You next need to submit your trademark application. After a period of time, you will receive either an approval or denial for your trademark. Once you are approved, you may begin using your trademark.