Protecting Intellectual Property - How to Write an Intellectual Property Statement

Protecting Intellectual Property - How to Write an Intellectual Property Statement
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What is an Intellectual Property Statement?

An intellectual property statement is intended to keep your ideas, processes and writings secure. Intellectual property falls under two categories. There are those works that are protected through copyright (i.e. writings, visual art, and music) and works that are protected by patents (processes, machines, manufactured items, software, food products, etc.) In a competitive marketplace, it is vital to protect your work through the usage of copyrights and patents. To do this, you will need to create a comprehensive plan for protecting your intellectual work. A comprehensive intellectual property statement will consider all of the copyrights and patents needed to keep your trade secrets just that - yours.

What Should be Included in an Intellectual Property Statement?

The first step in creating an intellectual property statement is to determine what needs to be protected and assign this status to it. Next, you will need to determine whether the intellectual property requires a copyright, patent, or trademark.Copyrights are issued when:

  • An artist creates a painting
  • A writer creates a poem, short story, or novel
  • A guitarist writes a song
  • A Playwrite drafts a play
  • A graduate student writes a dissertation

With a copyright, the right is issued as soon as the work has been drafted. Patents are issued when:

  • Anyone invents a process, machine, product
  • Anyone invents a new design for manufacturing
  • Anyone who creates a new variety of plant

Trademarks are given when a device, word, or symbol is used to distinguish the source of goods.

You will want to be sure that your intellectual property protection plan covers at least these three areas. You will also want to cover who is responsible for knowledge and whether any employees will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement. Finally, you will want to make it clear as to who owns the patent, copyright, or patent in cases of group collaboration. For more information on the details of intellectual property rights, marks and patents, you may wish to view the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Website.

How to Write a Comprehensive Intellectual Property Statement

When writing your comprehensive intellectual property protection plan, you’re going to want to make sure that anyone involved in the creation of the property is present. You also will want to have any patents, trademarks, or copyrights that need to be filed underway.

The first item in the intellectual property statement is to designate who owns the intellectual property. Next, designate which sorts of intellectual property protections are in place - if there is a multitude, you may wish to simply say “All intellectual property rights of company x are owned by j.”

Once you have done this, then you will want to state what the rights to the work by outside agents are. For example, if you run a website, you may state, “Items provided on this website may be downloaded for personal use only.”

Fourth, you will want to explain any licensing policies you will have. For example, if you have invented a process, and it is patented, you may license the process for a fee. Be explicit in this.

Finally, state what the legal consequences are for violating intellectual property law.