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Tips for protecting your intellectual property

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It is a story as old as business. You come up with an idea that is sure to make you a million bucks, only you never quite get around to making it a reality and someone on the other side of the planet comes up with the same idea a year later and you are left out in the cold. Such incidents are commonplace these days. The men who came up with the brilliant idea of Fantasy Football never bothered to copyright their idea, and now every sports website and business sells their own fantasy football game and those founding members don’t get a single penny. Don’t let this happen to you; follow these tips for protecting your intellectual property this year.

The first thing you should do is to file for a trademark, a copyright or a patent. Make sure you research what these three things are, what they do and how they differ. Depending on your idea, you may need one, two or even all three of these but if you only choose one, make sure you understand how they differ and how you are leaving yourself exposed. Once you’ve filed for an official trademark, you have now begun the process of protecting your intellectual property.

If you feel that you can’t make this decision by yourself or if you aren’t sure where to even start, there is an entire field of law dedicated to intellectual property. With law comes lawyers and a brief consultation with an intellectual property lawyer can be worth its weight in gold. They can help steer you in the right direction and help you protect your intellectual property from day one. If you are a professional inventor and you are often in need of a lawyer for intellectual property help, you might want to keep a law professional like this on retainer at all times.

If you feel that you are sitting on a goldmine instead of simply a nice idea, you probably want to learn as much as you can about how others can use your idea, and more importantly, how you can make money off of your idea by letting others use it. Intellectual property law is constantly changing and being modified so try to stay on top of intellectual property news stories and do some reading on how intellectual property law came to be.

Finally, although you may be convinced that your idea is tops, you might want to head back to the drawing board and fill in some of the blanks surrounding your idea. It may be true that as your idea stands now, you might make some real cash on it but if you can manage to improve upon your original design, you might make even more. The important thing is to not wait to claim intellectual property rights on your original idea long enough for someone to take it away from you. Intellectual property rights are an interesting field of law that can make you some serious cash if you use them the right way.

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