As a business owner you cannot possibly understand all of your legal responsibilities and this is why we consult legal experts on decisions that we take. With that being said you do need to have a basic understanding of the aspects of the law which relate to the business, in order to avoid any kind of infringements. One aspect which we are going to talk about today is intellectual property rights. A wide and varied branch of the law which businesses can often break without even realizing it. To give you some better advice we spoke to the team at TME Enterprises, experts in this field, to give you the key rights within this law that you need to be aware of.
A trademark is a symbol, a logo or an image which a company uses to identify itself. These symbols and logos form a key part of branding a company and once they have been trademarked, they cannot be used by another company. A perfect example of this would be the bitten apple logo of tech giant Apple. This symbol is trademarked and that means that no other company can copy it.
Copyright covers artistic creations such as music, lyrics, novels, computer coding and poetry and these original creations that are protected by copyright cannot be borrowed, used or stolen from the creator. This can often be a grey area especially in the music world where we see similar rhythms and tones recreated, either intentionally or obliviously.
When an investor creates a new product, part or mechanism they will apply for a patent which will protect their invention. The patent commission will make sure that the invention is original and then they will pass the patent for the inventor. When something like this is given the inventor will hold all rights to their invention and only they can decide who can use their creation.
Individuals are prettied by intellectual property laws from having their image, their likeness and even their personality being used for profit by another company. This means that if you snap a shot of your store on a busy day, you can only use that image for marketing purposes if all of the customers in the shot have been asked for their permission.
This act ensures that no business is able to gain an unfair advantage on their competition using tactics like false advertising, misrepresentation of an image or likeness or through trademark and copyright infringement.
Trade secrets refers to any kind of plan, formula, strategy, methodology, system, device or designs which have been created by a company, being used by another company. Sometimes for example someone working in a business may pass information on two a competitor and this is the law which will ensure that if the information is used, they will be brought to book.
These are the key highlights which you need to understand in order to stay on the right side of the law.