It is vital if your business plan is based on a particular innovation. Law Offices of Nicholas D. Heimlich makes it possible to protect your creations from all counterfeits, to ensure you a monopoly of exploitation, and even to generate future revenues (license contract, transfer of an intellectual property right…).
- Before using a brand, trade name, sign, or domain name, it is imperative to check their availability. It is up to you to carry out the prior art search. You can be assisted by an intellectual property specialist.
- Protect your trade names, your signs and your domain name by filing a trademark (they will be associated with your products and / or services). Be careful, and this procedure can take time and must be anticipated.
- The monopoly on the exploitation of a brand is limited to the products and services which were associated with it during the filing of a brand (apart from a well-known brand). It is, therefore, important to determine with precision the products and services for which you wish to use a brand.
- Intellectual property requires sophisticated legal skills. It is recommended to call on an intellectual property specialist for certain services (search for similarity, patent drafting, intellectual property audit, etc.).
- From the creation of your business, even if you do not plan to develop a website right away, reserve a domain name consistent with your trade name or brand and protect it by filing a trademark.
- Regularly check that your brands, trade names, and signs are not being counterfeited.
During its activity, the company exploits brands for its products and services, a trading name, a technical innovation, a logo, a domain name … Intellectual property is made up of all of these “intellectual creations.”
It is essential to identify the creations that are exploited by your company, to ensure the rights you have to do so, to protect them and, finally, to enhance them.
Intellectual property consists of industrial property and copyright. You must complete a certain number of formalities (prior art search, filing ….), in order not only to protect yourself from counterfeiting but also to assert your rights in the event of a dispute by a third party (a competitor, for example), which may result in the ban on exploiting a creation (brand, trade name, domain name, etc.).
The different types of deposit
In industrial property matters, there are three types of filing, which result in the issue of an industrial property title.
- The patent: it protects technical innovations.
By filing a patent, you can thus have the exclusivity of technical innovation, consent to its use in return for royalties, or even assign it. Innovations must meet several criteria to be patented, including having an industrial application (a scientific theory cannot be the subject of a patent).
- The brand: it represents the image of the company.
It can be a set of letters, numbers, a slogan, or a logo. A brand is necessarily associated with your products and services. It is your responsibility, at the time of filing, to determine the products and services for which you wish to use the brand. If you want to use the brand for new products and services, you will need to make a new deposit. Although it is not a legal constraint, it is imperative to ensure the availability of a mark before filing it. If you do not perform this check and it turns out that your brand is already in use, you may be forced to stop using it. All acts relating to the transfer, the exploitation of your brands (license to operate), or a contribution to society must be registered in the national trademark register.
- Designs and models: they concern the aesthetics of a product (color, texture, material, etc.).
To be registered, the designs must meet certain conditions, such as the novelty and legitimacy of the depositor (if you are not the author of the designs, you must be in possession of the copyright). It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with these conditions before making a deposit.
Protect your domain name
The creation of a website implies the choice of a domain name, consisting of a name and an extension (.fr, .com, .net, etc.).
At the same time, it is important to make sure that the domain name you are about to register does not correspond to a trademark, a corporate name, or a trading name prior to your domain name.