Even if you run a small company, your business success may depend on some form of IP (intellectual property), like a proprietary formula, distinctive logo or unique process. Protecting IP from competition can be accomplished in several ways:

  • Patents are usually valid for 20 years and are available to any person who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement.
  • Trademarks are generally protected forever. It protects words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services, indicating their source.
  • Copyright laws protect rights for anywhere between 95 years to 70 years after the death of the author. It’s used to protect original works of authorship; literary, dramatic, musical and artistic.

So take the time to consider those factors that differentiate your business from others in your industry and find out if those IP elements can be legally protected.