Intellectual property (IP) is an important asset in any company, even more so when your revenue is tied to your inventions.
Protecting your intellectual property is important to the growth of your company and protecting your future.
With the prevalence of technology, there are most issues with establishing IP rights and protecting them.
The protection of intellectual property (IP) is a federal responsibility, primarily. There are four federal statutes: Patent Act, Trade-marks Act, Copyright Act, and Industrial Design Act. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office of Industry Canada administers these statutes.
Disputes over unauthorized use of a trademark or the misuse of a trade secret are within provincial jurisdiction. In certain circumstances, the federal and provincial jurisdictions will overlap.
IP is a complicated issue and a very important one.
There are international considerations – Canada, much like the United States, is a signatory to many international agreements related to patents, including the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Paris Convention) and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
Intellectual property should be protected in the same way physical property would be. You need to be on the lookout for infringements. the owners of IP should always be on the lookout for potential infringements.
• Trademarks can be registered for 15 years and may be renewed
• Trade-name registration does not entitle the registrant to exclusive right to the name
• Patents provide exclusive use for 20 years from the filing date
• In Canada, the author of a work product during employment is the employee, not the employer
Intellectual Property lawyers can help businesses make sense of this complex area – by working closely with them to guide them through the process of acquiring, protecting and using intellectual property such as patents and copyrights.
Lawyers help with selecting product and business names and protecting them, as well as registering a trademark, or going through the patenting process.
Lawyers can help with new inventions and with infringement of your IP.
Litigation may also play a role in your IP needs. It is important that the lawyer you work with is well versed in this legal area to get you the best outcomes.