Intellectual Property Registration
How do you get all of your intellectual property documented and registered?

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.

The List

    Employee Contracts

    Intellectual Property Assignments

    License Agreements (In-Licensing and Out-Licensing)

    Cooperative Research Agreements

    Financing Agreements

    Security Interests

    Public Filings

    Outside Contractor Agreements

    Work-for-Hire Doctrine


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.

Actual Registration

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
Mike Ervin - Cost Effective Small Business Patent Protection.

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