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Intellectual property is an individual’s idea or creation. While that sounds simple, things can get pretty complex. Here are the basics of intellectual property.

As stated above, intellectual property, or IP, is an idea or creation someone comes up with. This can include designs, processes, logos, songs, discoveries, or symbols. Any individual can claim IP on a number of things.

IP belongs to the person who created it. They decide who makes it, how it’s used, where it’s used, and, most importantly, who gets to sell it and profit from it.

In a digital world where many others have access to so many ideas, it’s important to take advantage of the legal infrastructure in place to protect IP. This can entail applying for a patent (inventions, new processes and machines, etc), a copyright (art, music, writing, movies), or a trademark (business names, logos, slogans, etc.).

To apply and successfully be granted one of these legal statuses, it’s important to work with someone knowledgeable about the process, such as an IP lawyer. They can walk you through the process of getting your IP legally protected.

It will cost time and money, but getting your intellectual property legally recognized is one of the only sure ways you don’t get an idea or creation stolen. Research IP lawyers online or get referrals from friends and family. They’ll take you the rest of the way.

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