Intellectual Property

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License agreements should be drafted by an intellectual property attorney since each situation is unique and the terms and conditions need to be carefully written to preserve important rights.

With a patent, your invention can be property protected under the law. A patent defines the boundaries of your invented technology, like the fence around land. As a homeowner, your legal rights are based on the precise coordinates recorded in your deed. They unambiguously define what you own and what would be a trespass. The patent is like a deed. But instead of precise measurements, the words and images in the patent are the legal boundaries of your intellectual property. But patents are only one type of intellectual property.

Once you have intellectual property, you can either build a business around it or license it. A license allows another party to make, use, or sell your intellectual property, in exchange for royalties.

IP Type Protection Duration Esimated Cost Example
Utility Patents Functional ideas 20 years from date of application $5000-$20000 Bionic Wrench
Design Patents Look and feel of products 14 years from date of grant Less than $5000 iPod
Trade Secrets Any confidential information Life of confidentiality Varies Coca-cola flavor
Copyrights Works of authorship e.g. books, music Life of author + 70 years $50 Harry Potter
Trademarks Any source identifier for a product or service Indefinite if used in commerce $375 GoogleTM
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