With as competitive as the business world can be, you need to constantly be on guard to ensure that those elements that give your business an edge in your market are protected. The common school of thought is that any intangible assets unique to your business is considered to be intellectual property. Yet is that really the case? Countless representatives from companies in New York have come to us here at Codispotti & Associates, P.C. questioning which of these elements they can and cannot protect. Understanding this is the key to making sure those intellectual assets that are proprietary remain so. 

The World Intellectual Property Organization defines “intellectual property” to be “…creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.” Some common examples have been detailed on this blog in the past, including: 

  • Copyrights
  • Patents
  • Trademarks

In addition, industrial designs that are unique to your company (such as a logo) are also considered to be intellectual property, as are certain geographic indicators that associate your brand with the reputation and qualities of a particular location. An example might be including the phrase “Made in (insert city of operations here).” Trade secrets that have been protected by confidentiality agreements might also be considered intellectual property. 

Ideas themselves (even original ideas), however, are not considered to be intellectual property. That is because intellectual property is typically considered to be something that is taken from an originating source. It is not unreasonable to believe, on the other hand, that two people cannot come up with a similar idea without having influenced each other. 

You can learn more about correctly identifying intellectual property by continuing to explore our site.