Protecting Your Turf
What is IP?
– Intangible rights
– Can be embodied in tangible objects
Why have IP?
– Encourage creation to beneﬁt society
– Balance of interests
Why do companies protect their IP?
– Protect valuable assets
– Restrict the competition
– Increasingly important
Form of IP Dificult to get Cost to register? How long to get Length of
rights? rights? protection
Copyright Easy Free until you register. Rights exist Generally, 70 years
Less than $200 if you instantly after the author
Patent Hard Expensive (Anywhere 2-3 years after 20 years from
from $5,000 - ﬁling ﬁling date
$25,000 and up)
Trade Secret Easy (but must No registration Rights exist Can be perpetual
be diligent to process instantly
Trademark Relatively easy Free if you don’t Some rights exist Can be perpetual
(unless mark is register. Registration instantly.
descriptive) is $1,000 - $2,000 Registration takes
and up 12 – 18 months
Myths about IP
– I paid for it, so I own it.
– I can use pictures on the Internet, as long as I
give the author credit.
– The source code was on the Internet, so I can
use it, right?
– I can use it, it’s “fair use.”
• Great source of diverse content without
much cost to you
• But you need to comply with the DMCA
safe harbor requirements, or you could be
liable for copyright infringement based on
the actions of your users.