Most businesses in Texas use logos, jingles, trade secrets and other intangible items as part of their operations. Without these things, they’d likely struggle to differentiate themselves from other businesses. Although intangible items don’t take up space, other entrepreneurs can still steal them. Protecting your business logo as intellectual property is a must for every business owner.
What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property comes in four types: trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights and patents. In simple terms, intellectual property law protects creators from having their creative works stolen. If your intangible assets get stolen, you can take legal recourse against the offending party in civil court.
Patents protect inventions and designs. Trade secrets include in-house business formulas and practices, such as KFC’s secret mixture of herbs and spices. Copyrights safeguard works of art, including written works and computer programs.
Businesses use trademarks to differentiate their goods and services. Common examples of trademarked assets include jingles, catchphrases and logos.
Protecting your business logo
Trademarks give you the sole right to use your logo to sell your goods and services. This doesn’t protect against the design of your logo, however.
Despite what you might hear elsewhere, you can double up on business logos with trademarks and copyrights. Although a trademark is sufficient to protect your logo from dishonest entrepreneurs, doubling up on intellectual property rights can offer added protection.
Getting a trademark or copyright
Although they’re similar, different government offices deal with these two forms of intellectual property. The U.S. Copyright Office deals with copyrights, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office handles trademarks. To start the process, you’ll send a completed application to each federal office. You can find these forms online.
Getting approval for intellectual property isn’t always easy. Hiring an experienced business formation attorney may give you the help you need to get approved.