Counterfeit goods are bad for business, which is why you should understand your intellectual property (IP) rights. You should also take time to understand how to put a stop to others using your intellectual property to make money off your hard work and effort.
The government recognizes that counterfeiting and pirating goods threaten the economy by making it harder for businesses to compete. These issues impact the health and safety of individuals in some cases and may negatively impact U.S. workers. When someone steals intellectual property, they hurt American innovation.
How can you protect your intellectual property?
To protect your intellectual property, you need to start with identifying what it is that you want to guard against others’ use. You’ll then want to register your rights to it. For example, you may be able to copyright a logo, software or book series. You could seek a patent for a new invention or take other steps to safeguard your trade secrets.
Recognize that your IP is only protected where you’ve registered it. It’s unlikely that your patent, trademark or copyright will protect your rights in a foreign country if you register the IP in the United States. This is why so many counterfeit goods come from other countries despite businesses taking steps to protect their property in the U.S.
Securing IP rights can protect your business
Filing for intellectual property protection should always be your first step. What you need to do to assert your intellectual property rights varies by the property you want to protect. You may be able to prevent counterfeiting and other issues that could harm your business by taking steps to protect our intellectual property before you release it or use it in public.