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Intellectual property is the result of mental labor. The product of intellectual labor is very simple to steal and take advantage of. Especially if the creator did not bother to protect intellectual property rights on time. How to do it right?

In order to protect the rights to an idea, technology, invention or work, it is necessary to fix them at the first stage, otherwise it will be difficult to prove that the intellectual property belongs to you.

Protecting the right to use intellectual property is vital for a startup to protect your intellectual products from being used by competitors. Moreover, high-quality IP protection can significantly increase the commercial value of a business and make it more attractive and interesting for attracting external investors.

This article will discuss some of the steps that are critical to protecting a company's intellectual property.

 IP as a valuable asset

After the IP item has been identified, it is important to determine who owns the right to use this property, whether the company itself has the right to this IP. In the early stages of a startup, founders often develop a business without a specific business plan or structure. As a result, many founders often personally own IP. To avoid future problems, such as contesting intellectual property rights, it is necessary to secure all rights, including intellectual property, to the company. In particular, this can be done by concluding a written assignment agreement between the founders and the company. It is important to note that this agreement must be in writing.

There are different formats for registered IP protection. Some startups choose to protect the brand through brand registration, others choose to protect inventions through patenting.

Many forms of IP registration are costly, and therefore it is important to determine the most valuable assets and decide which jurisdiction is best for registering intellectual property.

Patent for high-tech startup

For startups creating innovative products and technologies, obtaining a patent can be an effective way to protect the rights to company innovation. So, obtaining a patent gives its owner the right to prevent others from exploiting the invention for a limited period of time without his permission. That is, if a third party wanted to use the invention, it would need to obtain a license from the patent holder. However, getting a software patent or other invention costs a lot more than other types of IP protection.

In order to claim patent protection of intellectual property, an invention must be new, include an inventive step and be capable of industrial application. The term of a patent “functioning” depends on the jurisdiction and its legislation in relation to IP.

In particular, it is possible to obtain a patent for an invention in Ireland for a period of 20 years. However, it is also possible to obtain a short-term patent in Ireland, which is valid for 10 years. A patent in Ireland is obtained by filing a patent application with the Irish Intellectual Property Office. If there is a need to obtain an international patent, then it makes sense to contact international agencies, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization.

It should be noted that preparing a package of documents for obtaining a patent is not an easy task, and it can be difficult to calculate the exact amount of the fee. If you are new to this business, it is better to contact specialists, where they will help you prepare all the necessary papers. This will save you time and money. You can order individual advice on the protection of intellectual property abroad in the IQ Decision UK law firm.

Trademark Protection

A brand is often one of its most valuable assets. However, in order to activate this value, registration of the company’s trademark is required. Registration of a trademark gives its owner the exclusive right to use this mark in relation to certain goods and services and to prevent other persons (including competitors) from doing this without his consent.

Registration of a trademark in Ireland is in accordance with the Irish Trademark Law, which contains a huge list of types of marks that can be protected as a trademark.

IP protection through trademark registration in Ireland is valid for an initial period of 10 years. However, the term can be extended for the next 10 years or more if renewal fees are paid, that is, potentially the protection can last forever.

Database Rights

If you need to protect the database as intellectual property of the company, pay attention to such a right as “sui generis”. The right to a database of information is granted to those who make significant investments in obtaining, verifying data or presenting information included in a specific database. This right may be violated as a result of extraction or reuse by the user of all or a substantial part of the contents of the database. Such actions, when they are repetitive in nature, should be qualified as a violation of the law.

If there is a regular update of information, then potentially protecting the database as the intellectual property of a company in Ireland can last indefinitely.

The IQ Decision UK team provides legal assistance in the registration of intellectual property in Ireland, England, and other jurisdictions. Contact us in a convenient way below.