In this day and age of websites, blogs, coaching programs and such, if you own a business that has these things, if something were to happen to you, what would happen to these things?
These sort of things are what is referred to as ‘intellectual properties’ and if you have a will or estate plan that includes directives for your business you might think more about protecting these aspects to your business or endeavor.
Under the law, in the broadest sense an intellectual property is an abstract item such a concept, ideas or formula and so on. To protect things such as these establishing trademarks, copyrights & patents are some of the ways in which a person can safeguard their original ideas, blueprints, etc., from plagiarism, copyright infringement or outright theft.
If you are an inventor, artist or scientist and you have built a business around your innovations and ideas, seeking legal council to protect your ‘Intellectual Property’ is of utmost importance.
Even if a relative or friend gave the intellectual properties you now possess to you, you must take time to think about how you will safeguard them into the future.
Talk to an attorney about the ‘Methods of Transfer.’ Keep in mind that if you do not have a will or written directive concerning your intellectual properties the state in which you and your business reside most likely will decide for you after death.
It is important that you draft a will/directive correctly with the exact legal language so that your wishes about your intellectual properties are carried out.
Speak to an attorney about ‘Testamentary Bequests and Lifetime Transfers.’ Take time to carefully consider whether or not to transfer your works-intellectual properties to a beneficiary while you are still alive.
Review the situation especially regarding taxes and practical aspects. Are your ideas, formulas, etc. something that has earned assets, income or will continue to do so?
Keep in mind that laws concerning ‘Intellectual Property’ changes from one type of intellectual property to another. For example a copyright does not protect all ideas. At its most basic level a copyright protects the expression of an idea, such as with literary works, works of music and even some forms of computer programs.
An attorney can go over the various aspects and details about copyright.
Trademark is another area where an attorney can help. Did you know that in the United States there are three levels of trademark law? An attorney can help navigate and discern what level or aspect applies to you.
People often seek a patent to protect an idea. Yet, that step is not always simple or easy. Current patent laws do not protect what is referred to as “raw ideas.” The U.S. Patent Office has rules as to what constitutes a patent and if it is eligible for submission. This is something an attorney well versed in patents can provide for you.
As things continue to change and as technology makes further advancements, the issues and legalities of ‘Intellectual Properties’ surrounding a person, business or endeavor will no doubt become more sophisticated in our 21st Century.
Take the time to consider your website, designs, etc. into your directives for the future.The attorneys at HVP LLP can help.