Misconceptions About Intellectual Property

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					Misconceptions about Intellectual Property
When an average person hears the word ‘intellectual property’ many people think about patents and
inventions, but intellectual property law covers way more than just things that have been physically
invented. Intellectual property law oversees the scope of anything that can be imagined into existence.

This type of law covers four primary areas of expertise, each with their own statutes and regulations
that govern them. The four types of intellectual property law are, patent law, trademark law, copyright
law, and trade secret law. There are several common misconceptions that apply to one or all of these,
which I will outline below.

Public Domain
In the age of the internet and social media, image and content sharing has exploded. It is important to
remember that just because an image is online and
can be googled does not mean that it is public
domain or free to use. Specifically images like logos
and other branded items are restricted and can
only be used or distributed by the owner of the

If you find yourself in need of images, search for
items that fall under creative commons licensing.
You can research creative commons and there are
several websites devoted entirely to providing
creative commons images to content makers.

Independent Contractors
Let’s say that you own a company and you need to have some software written or a website designed to
help your business grow. You don’t have the specialized skills necessary to make that happen so you hire
an independent contractor to do the job. If you’re paying them to create intellectual property for your
company, you’re safe, right?

Well, yes, but only if you take care to protect your business and your property. It is a good idea, when
dealing with an independent contractor, to make sure that you draft the appropriate non-disclosure
agreements and privacy contracts that keep your property safe.

Intellectual Property Lawyers
                                    You may think that because your company does not invent or
                                    produce a product, you don’t need to know about intellectual
                                    property law or have a lawyer in your arsenal. This is an incorrect
                                    assumption. As we mentioned above, intellectual property law
                                    covers a wider range of situations than simply for products or

                                    Whether you need to protect the next big technological
advancement, your top secret cookie recipe, or exclusive web content, or your company logo, an
attorney can help you do all of that and more. Whether your ‘invention’ can be patented or not, it is
important that you know what needs to be done to protect your creative endeavors.

Do you research and find a reputable attorney in your area and take some time to sit down with them
and discuss how intellectual property law applies to your goods, services, and your company. If you are
looking for an intellectual property lawyer in Utah, Kirton McConkie can help. Call us, visit our website,
or stop by our offices today to set up an appointment. We are happy to answer your questions and help
you defend your creative property.

Photo Credit: kay82 , creationc

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