How do you achieve intellectual property registration - and what does that mean? Simply that most things in intellectual property need to be documented or in some cases registered in some way with the government.
Again - you need a process. And again a list helps. Below is a list of many of the instruments used in securing intellectual property.
Intellectual Property Assignments
License Agreements (In-Licensing and Out-Licensing)
Cooperative Research Agreements
Outside Contractor Agreements
Review your employee agreements to ensure that ownership of intellectual property is spelled out. You can have an attorney do that or if you choose adopt boilerplate legal language into your employee agreements.
Intellectual property assignments - these are done through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office.
If you have any cooperative research agreements with other companies - review the IP ownership. The same goes for any financing agreements, and outside contractor agreements.
Work-for-hire doctrine - under copyright law a person who creates a work is the author of that work. But there is an exception to that principle called “works made for hire.” If a work is “made for hire,” the employer, and not the employee, is considered the author. The employer may be a firm, an organization, or an individual. Look to certain factors that characterize an “employer-employee” (Control over employee, status, (benefits, taxes) The closer an employment relationship comes to regular, salaried employment, the more likely it is that a work created within the scope of that employment would be a work made for hire.
Intellectual property registration is done in a number of ways. The devil is in the details but it almost always involves filing the right papers (and paying a fee) in places like:
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Foreign patent and trademark offices
State-level trademark office
U.S. Copyright Office
Domain name registrar
Trade secrets - no filing requirements
Intellectual Property Registration
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Mike Ervin - Cost Effective Small Business Patent Protection.
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