Obtaining a patent, copyright or trademark may protect people’s intellectual property and prevent others from using their creative works for their own gain.

Often, people in Connecticut and elsewhere find ways to share and profit from their creative works and ideas. Unfortunately, sometimes others may seek to use these types of assets for their own gain, without the permission of their owners or creators. There are ways, however, that inventors, artists, authors, business owners and other creators may protect these creations of their minds.

Works and inventions developed as a result of people's creativity may be considered their intellectual property. This may include artistic, musical or literary works, as well as inventions and processes. Additionally, the names, images and symbols people and businesses use in commerce are also considered intellectual property. These types of creative assets may be protected through the use of patents, copyrights and trademarks.

Patents

Inventors may protect their property rights through patents. People may be grated patents for the invention or discovery of the following: new and useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture or composition of matter; new, ornamental and original designs for articles of manufacture; any distinct, new plant variety. By obtaining this type of protection, others are prohibited from using, making, importing, offering for sale or selling the invention without permission from the inventor. When people infringe on a patented product or invention, the patentee may take action to stop the unauthorized use, and to recover damages for any resulting losses.

Copyrights

Whether published or not, artistic, dramatic, literary, musical and certain other intellectual works may be protected through a copyright. However, this type of protection does not shelter the subject matter of these works. Rather, it safeguards the expression form. For example, someone could copyright a description for a dining table. While others could make or use the dining table or write their own description of it, the copyright restricts them from copying the original description.

Trademarks


Symbols, words, names and other markings are often used to identify a particular business' products, as well as to differentiate them from the products of other manufacturers or sellers. Certain distinctive marks such as these may qualify for protection as trademarks. Should a trademark qualify for protection, others cannot make or sell the same goods under an evidently different mark or utilizing a mark of confusing similarity.

Seeking legal counsel

The theft, piracy and counterfeiting of people's intellectual property in Connecticut may jeopardize their business' bottom line, as well as their good name. Therefore, those who have produced artistic, literary, innovative or other creative works may benefit from consulting with an attorney. A lawyer may help them understand how to protect their creative works and ideas, and what options they may have should they find someone infringing on their intellectual property rights.