Think you know the basics on patent filing and intellectual property rights? Test your knowledge by reading over these three facts.
- Patents are filed through the United States Patent and Trademark Office… in the U.S., at least. Any governing bodies that allow patent filing are under the regulation of the World Trade Organization. Most of the world’s nations are members of this group, which oversees trade agreements and treaties. As for groups that allow for patents and oversee issues related to intellectual property laws, there are several all over the world. The largest of these is the World Intellectual Property Organization. The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization, the Eurasian Patent Organisation, the European Patent Office, and dozens of others that are either country specific or regional are some examples. In the United States, both patents and copyrights are handled through the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- A patent isn’t just “protecting an idea.” Many people commonly refer to the patent process as a series of steps that protects intellectual property even if it hasn’t been created. However, a patent has to be filed for something, not just the idea itself. Many people also think that the patent itself provides intellectual property protection. Yet that’s not entirely true. In fact, enforcement isn’t handled by organizations like the USPTO or the World Intellectual Property Organization at all. In the event that intellectual property theft or infringement occurs, patent holders will typically work with patent litigation attorneys to recover any losses they’ve suffered.
- Intellectual property theft happens more than you might think. Most inventors and other creators don’t think that infringement is something that can happen to them, but it occurs far more frequently than most people would imagine. Many people can probably guess how much infringed content is on the internet — in fact, about 25% of traffic is used to watch, download, or otherwise consume it. But it’s not only internet pirates who contribute to this kind of theft. Former employees are guilty of intellectual property theft around 21% of the time, and trusted business partners commit these acts in more than 17% of cases. The industries where these issues occur most frequently include information technology 35% of the time, banking and finance 13% of the time, and chemical businesses and products in 12% of all cases. This is why patent filing is so important — because it’s the first line of defense for inventors should something happen to their intellectual property.
Because all intellectual property is different, make sure that you have an attorney to work with should any questions arise. Have more questions? Contact us today.