A lot of people have sudden moments of inspiration, coming up with great ideas for businesses, scientific inventions, games, mobile applications and so on. Some of them may not be feasible, but a lot of ideas may actually work. If you come up with something that you feel can make you a lot of money, how do make sure that the world knows it is your idea? How do you ensure that your idea or invention is not stolen or copied by anybody else?
There are lawyers who will file a document stating that the idea or invention is entirely yours, and that anyone else who steals or copies it is liable to be taken to court. You will find companies that will provide attorneys to file patents, trademarks and copyrights. These applications can be filed by your attorney of choice at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the USCO (United Stated Copyright Office) and different other trademark and patent offices around the world.
If you have an invention that you feel will make a difference, you can get it patented. Patents can essentially be divided as provisional and non-provisional applications. If you contact one of these companies, they will send a licensed patent attorney, who is specifically trained to file patent applications in the United States. The process will begin with an initial consultation which is free of cost. This consultation will be to determine whether or not you should begin with a patent search. A patent search involves browsing through the archives of patents to find out how many ideas similar to yours have been patented in the past. After this, you can go ahead with the actual filing.
A trademark is basically a word, phrase or symbol which manufacturers or sellers use to make their products unique, and differentiate their company from others. You can protect the symbol or phrase of your company, and apart from this sometimes there are other distinguishing features like the color and packaging of a product. You can contact a law firm to find out if any of these identifiers can be protected, in the case of your particular product.
A copyright involves the protection of all original works of authorship, which are fixed in a tangible medium. This includes both published and unpublished dramatic, musical, artistic and literary work, and some other intellectual works. When you file a copyright, you are protecting only the expression and not the subject matter. For example, say you are filing for a copyright for the photograph of a copy machine. This prevents others from copying the photograph, but to prevent the copying of the machine itself, the inventor of the machine will have to file a patent. If you contact the right firm, they will send over an attorney who will be able to advise you as to what form of protection will suit your requirements the most.
There are so many other ways of protecting your ideas and works. There is cyber law, which involves a number of issues like credit card fraud, identity theft, slander and libel. Attorneys handle all these cases and more.