Protecting Unregistered Intellectual Property
If you own a business, chances are you have a lot more intellectual property than you think. Intellectual property protection may be something that has fallen off your radar, particularly if you don’t have any registered intellectual property. Even if your intellectual property isn’t registered, they are still assets that should be protected.
What is unregistered intellectual property?
Unregistered intellectual property can be anything that the public associates with the goods or services your company provides. This can be names, logos, social media handles, taglines, marketing tools, internal documents, copy, etc. Unregistered intellectual property is not protected the same way that registered intellectual property is, but it is nonetheless important to know what assets you have.
How do you protect your unregistered IP?
In general, there are four qualifiers for protected unregistered intellectual property;
1. You must provide evidence that demonstrates an association in the minds of consumers between the company’s unregistered trademark and the goods or services in association with which the trademark is used.
2. You must prove that the public has been deceived by a misrepresentation. That is, consumers must be led to believe that the goods, services, or business of the adverse party are those of the unregistered trademark owner.
3. You must prove that you have suffered actual harm, or are likely to suffer actual harm as a result of the passing off. In other words, you must furnish evidence showing that the adverse party’s activity poses a great threat to your business.
4. You must show that you used the trademark for the purpose of distinguishing the company’s goods or services from those of others.
It is important that you document all your unregistered intellectual property in your EstateBox in order to keep track, and properly protect your property. If you would like to register your intellectual property, please speak to your legal counsel.