The most important thing is that you understand that you must protect the result of your creativity. Nowadays it is very easy for anything we do to be copied, that is why if you are starting up or have a small or medium-sized company and you are developing a trademark or some invention that can be protected via patent, copyright, or trade secret, you must request the registration of them. In the case of business secrecy, it is not registered, but you must follow a series of guidelines from a legal and technical point of view to be considered as such.
In addition, during the protection process you can find out if that trademark has already been registered or that invention exists because someone came up with it before, and therefore it is not novel or patentable, and thus avoid two things: first, infringing rights previously acquired by a third party, and then not investing money and time in an unnecessary procedure, as well as in product inventories and labels, among others.
Many go to Google, and when they cannot find references, they think they have something new on their hands. The reality is that Google is incredible, but it does not show the information that is in the world’s patent and trademark offices, leaving us with the impression that we are on the right track, which may not be the case.
What can be protected
It is possible to protect the name of a brand, product, or service, an artistic work of any kind, and inventions of human ingenuity, including industrial designs such as furniture or other utilitarian objects for the home or industry.
It is also important to know that ideas and methodologies cannot be protected. Many people ask whether a revolutionary idea or a new or different methodology for a service can be protected. What can be protected is its materialization, but the idea as such, no.
How can you protect yourself?
The trademark and patent offices of the countries are the entities in charge of receiving the applications, together with the requirements of each country, analyzing the applications, and approving or rejecting them.
It is always advisable to have the appropriate advice provided via consultancy, either with internal experience in the company, although that only increases its costs, or have external intellectual property advice on the matter to follow up on this issue while you dedicate yourself. to the important thing: grow your business.
A consultant can tell you how to proceed, who to contact to determine if you have something new, as well as accompany you in that contact and how to establish a relationship with a local Intellectual Property manager in the country of interest. You should know that each trademark and patent office is territorial, it only grants rights in the country where it is requested. There is no such thing as protecting a trademark in every country in the world. In addition, a local representation is always needed in each country, since rights payments must be made at the national Intellectual Property offices and in local currency.