Situations where potential venture capital investors are grilling start-up management always seems to bring the T.V. show “Shark Tank” to mind.
I don’t know how many times I watched as one of the “sharks” on that show told some poor business bait that money would be offered to invest based on a plan to market a license on an app program that showed great potential.
The shark sure sounds like he knows what he is talking about. Or does he.
Because we know that before licensing anything a startup manager needs to have procured a solid copyright.
Generally, a trademark is a symbol, a design or logo of some kind, a slogan, a device, a musical jingle, or even a trade name like Frank Finkelstein’s Fabulous Falafel, which can uniquely distinguish your goods or services from all similar goods or services available in the market place.
The life of a trademark begins with a great idea for a mark or device that can absolutely singularize your product or service from all other competitors out there.
But that is only the starting point.
The odyssey for securing a trade identity really begins when the company needs to meet the challenge of doing all the things necessary to hold on tight to that very unique, differentiating and identifying mark and formally keep the mark for use as its very own.
For most graphics designers, it’s hard enough juggling the rigors of running a business or staying on top of a hectic freelance schedule.
Add to that the mountain of confusing information surrounding intellectual property (IP) rights, and a vast sea of frustration, and even borderline apathy, might quickly ensue.
However, graphic designers have good reason to get to know the specifics about their IP rights.
Once work is created and made available to the public, the chances of someone claiming the work as their own or reproducing it without giving proper credit can skyrocket in today’s technologically advanced, share-friendly culture. Nothing is more infuriating than discovering that your creative ability is being exploited by someone who has neither the permission nor the right to do so.
Quality Work Needs Quality Protection
Getting the facts about intellectual property laws and how they affect your design work is something that simply cannot be put off.
That’s because just about all the work that designers produce falls under the category of intellectual property, and the wisest thing to do with intellectual property is to protect it.
Remember, just because there is no tangible product involved in your creative process does not mean your work deserves any less protection, or compensation, than other valuable business assets.
Graphics designers also must be prepared to go beyond simply protecting their own work. They also need to make sure they don’t end up infringing someone else’s work as well.
In the design field, as in any other, it’s considered extremely disrespectful and ethically inconsiderate to use someone else design without permission.
It’s imperative that designers stay abreast of what is and is not allowed when it comes to using the images, photos and design elements of other artists and creators.
Fact 1. The Difference Between a Copyright and a Trademark is Use
Several types of intellectual property rule the graphics design world.
There are differences here that are essential to know for interactions with clients as well as for protecting your ideas and creative work.
The two most important IP rights for graphics designers are copyrights and trademarks.
The Olympics is the biggest sporting event in the world, with London 2012 on course to achieving record-breaking viewing figures across the globe.
The Olympic brand is widely recognized and is, therefore, a significant and highly valuable asset of the Olympic Movement.
The London 2012 Olympics will be remembered for its particularly aggressive stance on brand protection with new laws being passed – the Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995 (OSPA) and the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006.
These laws stand alongside existing copyright, trademark and other intellectual property laws and create a new ‘Unauthorized Association’ Law for the protection of the Olympic brand.
Olympics Sets New High for Brand Protection
Collectively, the brand encompasses a variety of names, phrases, logos and designs, known as the ‘Games’ Marks’.
The legal protection is necessary to preserve the commercial value of the brand and to bestow upon authorized sponsors and licensees of the Games exclusive rights to use the Olympic brands.