Intellectual property holds tremendous value in the construction industry. There are many forms of intellectual property, all of which can be protected under various laws. Whether it’s a trademark, patent, copyright, or something else that qualifies as intellectual property, you need to ensure that your ideas are protected from being utilized for another party’s financial gain. Protecting your intellectual property requires an intimate knowledge of U.S. Copyright Law and other pertinent laws.
An experienced Jacksonville construction attorney from Cotney Construction Law can assist you with a variety of legal services related to intellectual property including machinery, methods, materials, and even your company’s name. In this three-part series, the Jacksonville construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law will discuss everything you need to know about intellectual property in the construction industry.
Defining Intellectual Property in the United States
According to the U.S. Department of State, “Intellectual property embodies unique work reflecting someone’s creativity and is all around us, manifested through miracle drugs, computer games, films, and cars. The three main areas of intellectual property law that innovators use to protect their ideas are trademarks, patents, and copyrights.”
Although this definition fails to specifically account for construction-related intellectual property, it does offer contractors comprehensive protection for things like architectural designs and trade secrets. Considering the fact that theft of trade secrets costs the United States $180 billion annually, contractors can’t afford to let their ideas slip away due to the negligence or lack of legal representation. In many cases, simply aligning yourself with a Jacksonville construction attorney who is well-versed in intellectual property law can ensure that your most valuable ideas are kept safe.
Why Intellectual Property Law is Vital for Contractors
Intellectual property might not always be tangible, but its importance can be felt across every industry in the United States. Contractors must be proactive about protecting their intellectual property by working with an attorney if they believe their rights are being infringed on by another party.
To enforce intellectual property rights in the United States, the Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement (IPE) was established. This organization is dedicated to advocating for the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) to help eliminate counterfeit and pirated goods, protect the rights of American intellectual property from being abused overseas, and to safeguard economic development. This organization partners with U.S. ambassadors and diplomats to ensure that intellectual property is protected all around the world.
Contractors who fall victim to intellectual property theft will face a diminished value for their services as they are copied and rebranded as well as increased competition as they lose their competitive edge. To learn more about the importance of protecting your intellectual property, read parts two, and three.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.