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Everything you need to know about intellectual property (almost)

Most everyone has likely heard the term “intellectual property” or “IP” before -- but what exactly is it? Turns out, it’s a lot more simple than you expect! Today we’ll be discussing what intellectual property is, IP infringements, how your business can create its own IPs, and how to avoid IP infringements for future business success!

1. What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property is basically anything you create with your mind. These creations can be inventions, artwork, books, images, symbols, designs, or even names. IP is protected by law using patents, trademarks, copyright, and more. The intellectual property itself is owned and protected by a person or business who has taken the correct steps for said protection using patents, trademarks, and copyright laws.

2. Why is IP so important?

The importance of intellectual property is essentially the importance of your own ideas. You wouldn’t want someone to take your brand name or product idea and run with it. This could cause a lot of issues for you, limiting business success and giving you a lot of unneeded heartaches! There are also certain rights given to the intellectual property, known as intellectual property rights, or IPR, that give owners the right to keep others from using their IPs.

3. What are IP infringements?

An IP infringement happens when someone who does not own a particular IP uses that intellectual property without permission. Because there are different types of protections for intellectual property, there are many different infringements that can occur. However, it all really narrows down to someone using the IP without asking first. For example, copyright infringement occurs when a work is partially or totally copied and trademark infringements occur when someone uses an already licensed trademark or one similar to a licensed trademark.

Intellectual property may have a lot of moving parts, but it really just boils down to your business ideas and creations and how you decide to protect them. Whether you decide to use patents, trademarks, or any of the other available protections, ensuring that your intellectual property is safe and knowing your intellectual property rights can come in handy!

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