Any person or entity who designs, writes, or creates any type of media related to their IP, which falls under one of the IP categories is most likely aware of how easy the media can be stolen, copied, or otherwise misappropriated by other individuals or entities, both online or in regular commerce. Not only does a person or entity have to pursue these wrongdoings by others, but they also have to attempt to enforce their legal IP rights through legal procedures, in order to prove they are the rightful owner of the IP, stop the IP infringement, and in some instances receive monetary damages. However, in these circumstances, it is crucial the person or entity has proof or forms of documentation to prove true origin, date of creation, and proof of ownership of the IP.

Increased globalization and the development and growth of today’s Internet worldwide have made IP protection more important than ever. It is vital to maintain the integrity of IP by having laws that protect IP rights and facilitate future innovation, progression, and advancements in various industries of the world economies. It is also important to use new and emerging technologies, such as distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain technology, to help protect IP rights, and manage and monetize IP assets worldwide. For example, although copyright laws are created to protect the copyright owner and their work, most copyright owners do not go through the process of formally registering their work in a government copyright office. Protecting and enforcing IP rights (such as copyrights) and monetizing IP assets is very difficult if the IP owners cannot verify the authorship and ownership of their IP assets. The PlanChain IP Asset Management Platform and Mobile Application (patent pending) can use DLT and blockchain technology to offer innovative features for IP owners to prove the authorship and ownership of their IP assets and monetize their IP assets.

Trademark

trademark is a type of IP consisting of a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. In some countries, a trademark that is used to identify a service (rather than a product) is called a service mark. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on in various places related to the trademark owner, such as a product package, a product label, a product or service brochure, a product or service advertisement, a voucher, on the product itself, among others.

Since the most essential functions of a trademark is to be able to distinguish one company’s products and services from those of another, a trademark must therefore have a distinctive character. The trademark must be able to attract the public’s attention and inform them of which company produced the products or services.

Some examples of well-known company names that are trademarks are Nike®, McDonald’s®, and Canon®. Some companies have trademarks for their symbols, logos, and slogans. For example, the golden arches are a symbol trademark of McDonald’s, and the swoosh symbol is a symbol trademark of Nike. Also, Nike has a trademark for their slogan JUST DO IT®, which is one of the most well-known slogans in the world.

Copyright

A copyright is a type of IP that provides protection to the creators of original works of authorship. For example, a copyright protects literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.

Works commonly protected by copyrights throughout the world include:

  • artistic works, such as photographs, videos, paintings, drawings, and sculpture;

  • literary works, such as novels, poems, plays, reference works, newspaper articles;

  • computer programs and databases;

  • films, musical compositions, and choreography;

  • architecture; and

  • advertisements, maps, and technical drawings.

Copyright laws in most jurisdictions provide the copyright owner the right to authorize or prevent certain uses in relation to a work, or to monetize the use of their work (such as through sale or licensing). The copyright owner of a work can prohibit or authorize (including monetizing the work):

  • its reproduction in various forms, such as printed publication, online publication, or other types of distribution;

  • its public performance, such as in a play or musical work;

  • its recording, for example, in the form of MP3’s, CDs or DVDs;

  • its broadcasting, by radio, cable or satellite;

  • its translation into other languages; and

  • its adaptation, such as a novel into a film screenplay.

Trade Secret

Any information that provides economic value that is not in the public domain and that has been reasonably kept secret. This can include: formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, or processes.

In principle, the owner of a registered industrial design or of a design tool has the right to prevent third parties from making, selling, or importing articles bearing or embodying a design which is a copy, or substantially a copy, of the protected design, when such acts are undertaken for commercial purposes.

Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and hand craft items, from packages and containers to furnishing and household goods, from lighting equipment to jewellery, and from electronic devices to textiles. Industrial designs may also be relevant to graphic symbols, graphical user interfaces (GUI), and logos.

In most countries, an industrial design needs to be registered in order to be protected under industrial design law as a “registered design”. In some countries, industrial designs are protected under patent law as “design patents.” Depending on the particular national law and the kind of design, industrial designs may also be protected as works of art under copyright law.

Patent

A patent is a type of IP that grants property rights to whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem (or any new and useful improvement thereof). To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application.

In principle, the patent owner has the exclusive right to prevent or stop others from commercially exploiting the patented invention. In other words, patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed, imported, or sold by others without the patent owner’s consent. Patent owners also have the exclusive right to monetize their patents, such as by licensing or selling the patent.