What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property refers to the body of law that protects creative works, designs and inventions.It also  provides registration procedures for creators and inventors to gain additional right and access to increased protection. Usually it is divided into Industrial property and Copyright. Industrial property refers to patents and trademark as well as industrial design. Copyright on other hand refers to all creative work and artistic literary work like novels, films and arts.

Do I have to register my Industrial Property to get Protection?

No, as a creator or inventor, you get intellectual property protection as soon as you create something. Before 1978, publication in some form was required, but that has changed. For example, if you write a novel or create a prototype for a robot you have intellectual property immediately. You have rights to create and to own creation, as well as to share them as you see fit, with few exception.

Can you lose right to your intellectual property if you don’t register with USPTO?

You do lose your rights if you do not register with USPTO in some cases. Patent and Trademark usually belongs to the first person who fills the paperwork. So if you have not patented an invention or the process, you could potentially loose your chance to ever patent it if someone invents or creates the same thing and register it before you do. Once something is patented, the patent holder hold all right to it for the defined period. You might be able to launch a suit claiming theft or conversion. But you’ll have to prove that that individual or company stole it, since the presumption will be that the initial registrar is the owner of the invention or trademark.

Should I Register with USPTO?

Depending in the work being registered, making it official with the USPTO provides a number of benefits. For Patent and Trademark, it gives you legal authority to prevent anyone else from using your invention or trademark without your permission. Patents and Trademark generally receives full faith and credit protection meaning that all of the states in United States recognize that protection. For a Copyrighted material, copyright registration provides a prima facie case of  possession. Registering does not provide additional right that allows you to prevent someone from using your work, but it does make it easier to prove that its your work.

Intellectual property protects your creations. You get these protections as soon as you create the work. However, you improve the strength of your position as owner  when you register your work with the USPTO in the appropriate section. If you don’t register an invention or trademark, you could potentially lose the rights to use if it turns out that someone else successfully registers it. Through registration, you receive the presumption that the work is yours, and that makes it significantly easier to win intellectual property cases in court.