INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. THE PERILS AND PITFALLS RELEVANT TO THE ARTISTS AND/OR SMALL BUSINESS OWNER.
- So whats this Intellectual Property then?
Intellectual property laws change from country to country. If you are covered in New Zealand for A,B and C it could be that in Australia you are only covered for C meanwhile in Canada you're only covered for "eh"
Anytime someone uses creativity, innovation or enterprise to create something new then this is when Intellectual Property is invoked. It covers everything from new techniques to revolutionary inventions
There is something of a grey area in the field of Intellectual Property in that you might be employed for a company that claims ownership of your developments. This is why such minutiae needs to be hammered out in the contract negotiations.
Final product is owned by the client unless there is a contract on the side – technoloy created for animation situation stays with the animation business while the finished animation goes to the client.
- Business Assets:
Several intellectual property assets can be associated with a single product line or service delivery, advertising is a big part of this since everything that goes out to the public needs to be vetted to make certain that each of the elements used in the advertising campaign, sound, visuals, the product delivery system etc has been released by the appropriate parites and is able to be used. - Techdirt Article
- Intellectual Property Asset Tool Box
Copyright works. There are different contracts which surround what you can and can't use. There are different levels of coypright which are owned in the combined works.
What then do you, the artist, own? You've got copyright at the design stage of the production and also the project development notes.
New Zealand works under an international agreement and it is not compulsary to register your product with the Intellectual Property office. But its pretty clear that if you don't then you're a fool due to the fact that you need to keep incredibly accurate records of who, what and when things were developed so that, in the event that you are taken to court you'll be able to prove that you were the one who invented the self removing trousers and not the guys at BigPants.ltd.
In the situation of the courtroom one possible defense is to claim that you came up with the idea of self removing pants independantly without any knowledge of what Big Pants.ltd were doing. This puts the onus back onto Big Pants.ltd to prove otherwise.
- Confidential information:
Refers to anything which you don't want competitors to know about.
- What can be copyrighted?
Trademarks: how you identify your products and sercices from the competition and registereing your product with the intellectual property department will ensure that you have nationwide, but not international, protection. Not registering means that you have to build up your brand and it can take a number of years before you are covered properly. Trademarks are issued in 10 year blocks.
Patents: Patents cover inventions and how they work. They are issued in 20 year blocks.
Design: Design protection works in alignment with Copyright. They last for 15 years.
Company Name: This differs from the branding of the product. The company name is the legal name for the company. If you are a limited company it means that your personal assets can't be seized if the business goes belly up. Provided you haven't been fraudulant in your business practises which proves that there's always a downside.
Doman Name: At risk from cybersquatters.
- Border Control:
Notices are filed with Customs, if someone brings in goods which infringe on copyright then Customs are authorised to sieze the goods in questions, or possibly the questionable goods. The two parties then enter into negotiations to decide whats going to happen.
In New Zealand trademark covers logos/words/music/dress marks – essentially it's anything that relates to your company. The Warehouse, for instance has the right to their particulaar shade of red and even the shape of the buildings.
In another example of this Cadbury Chocolate hold the trademark for their colour of people. At least they do in this country it's a protection that they don't have over in Australia.
- Career building information:
What intellectual Property are you creating? It's a retorical question but you do need to consider the following protection options
Clearence checks. Do you have releseas? Proper licences? Permissions to use the mashups of sounds and videos?
- Commercialise: Information missing or otherwise unavailable. I blame the drunken cannibles.
- Intellectual Property Capture:
Identify potential Intellectual property assests. What of of intellectual proerties affect you and your business?
Sort out the ownership or acquire the rights to the work. This need to be worked out in the contracting stage.
- Record Keeping:
Business history – Look at the evolution of the Coca Cola bottles and how the shape itself was trademarked after the war.
Intellectual Property calender
Time critical deadlines – for submitting documents and offices, business's need to stay on top of this as much as possible.
Updates to official records need to be kept current. If your details aren't correct then you can't take legal action against people (which is clearly the only reason anyone ever set up a business)
In house – include in contracts and agreements. Digital files are password protected.
The Register – There is an application process which gives you the opportunities to sell or license your rights. If you aren't interested in operating overseas due to funds or a lack of ability to get products to the interenational customers. But that they won't talk to you without an application.
Release – The product might be online access by the public but not the best images or the software is crippled in some way (Shareware is the perfect example of this)
- General application process:
Acceptance (chance of failure)
Grant (another chance of failure)
Renewal payments (failure, yet again)
- IP symbols and indiciators:
™: Trade mark
®: Registered trade mark in that country
©: Part of copyright indicators (the full version of this is the name of the owner and the year that the product was first created)
Country code + IP type + IP number
Clearence checks - What applies to you and what other people are doing which applies to your business and/or product. Investigate potential business partnership with people who are doing the same kind of thing as you. This enables you to obtain an existing customer base.
- Licence terms and conditions