Understanding Copyrights, Trademarks, & Patents

Understanding Copyrights, Trademarks, & Patents

I receive articles all the time from subscriptions or groups that I belong to that keep up with industry changes.  Copyrights, Trademarks are two topics that are always part of the discussion with my clients. Patents can also come into the conversation if there is an actual product being sold or intellectual property is involved.

John Hughes wrote a great article on these topics that will help you with your decisions on what to include on your website and what you need to protect for yourself and your business.

Here is John Hughes’ information:

Understanding Copyrights, Trademarks, & Patents

Discover the Region“Copyrights, trademarks, and patents are somewhat complex topics. However, they each can have an effect on the way you run your WordPress site, which makes understanding their basics important.

The good news is you don’t need to hit the law books to figure out how each of these elements impacts you. In this article, we’re going to discuss the difference between copyrights, trademarks, and patents, and how WordPress is licensed. Then, we’ll talk about what elements of your site you need to protect and how to do it. Let’s get to work!
What is the difference?
Before we dive into how these elements affect your WordPress site, it’s important to know what their differences are. For now, let’s keep things simple and talk about them one by one:

  • Copyright. Think of this as proof of ownership over the content you create. For example, if you’re running a WordPress website you can copyright your graphics and content (and we’ll talk more about this later on). On top of proving you’re the owner of your content, copyrights also govern how others can reproduce, imitate, and distribute it.
  • Trademark. Unlike copyrights, trademarking isn’t about protecting your content, it’s all about your brand. Using this method enables you to claim your website’s name, domain, logo, and any other symbols representing your brand. That way, other people can’t use them to deceive your visitors and customers without breaking the law.
  • Patents. This type of protection is reserved for unique business processes and technologies. However, you can’t patent a website as a whole (in the vast majority of cases).

Before moving on, let’s talk a bit more about patents. There’s a common misconception that almost any idea can be patented, but it’s not quite true. In fact, it’s likely you won’t be able to obtain a patent for your product unless you can prove it’s unique (and non-obvious).

To put it simply, if you run a simple WordPress website, you probably don’t need to think about patents. That is unless you’re offering a service you can prove is unique and innovative. If you just want to protect your intellectual property, copyrights and patents are the way to go.

What do I need to protect?
Technically, you don’t need to copyright your WordPress website – at least not under US law. That’s because websites are considered ‘original work’, and they’re copyrighted from the moment they go live. The same law applies to other types of creative work as long as you document them in a way you can prove, such as writing them down or recording them.

The question is, if you don’t need to copyright your site, why do so many pages on the web bother to include notices to that effect? A lot of them do so as a deterrent to would-be copycats, while others may include them because they actually went to the trouble of registering their copyright.While a copyright isn’t strictly necessary for every site, it can come in handy. At least in the US, registering this proof of ownership makes it much easier to prosecute anyone copying it. For other countries, the situation could get muddier – so we recommend doing some research with an expert in your particular nation’s law.”
John’s breakdown of copyrights, trademarks and patents helps with understanding what is needed to protect your business and website.
Written Content and Images
Two other topic that always come into the conversation is written content and images. Written content should always be your original content.  You can always add information that supports your topic such as I have done above but always refer to the writer or the website or book where the documentation was read.
There are thousands of images on the internet that can be used on your website. My suggestion is, DON’T USE THEM!
Images are  marked and water stained so the the owner of the image can track down who has used their images without permission.  They will contact you with a settlement offer of $250.00 or more for using the image without purchasing.  If you do not respond they can file a law suit against you.The best way to protect yourself is to hire a photographer, take your own hi-res photos or purchase a membership to a photo warehouse such as Stock Photo Secrets.

All of the suggestions above are simple rules to follow that will give you piece of mind that will keep you from unnecessary legal issues.  If your business is big or you are a small business all the same guidelines apply when you are looking at copyrights, trademarks and patents.

Discover the Region Print and Digital Magazines strives to support Businesses and communities with a unique line of products that are tailor made for YOUR  specific business or promotional needs.

Welcome to Discover the Region:

Discover the Region Print and Digital is focused on helping small business by staying competitive and creating an undeniable brand recognition.  DTR’s crossover marketing allows small business the ease of executing Print-Digital and on-line services.

DTR is a small business and understands the challenges that other small business face in this age of daily change.  We offers innovative, tangible and cost effective marketing opportunities to the challenges of communication, problem solving and staying relevant in today’s market.

Our business was founded in 2008 and has grown from a one publication and website business to supporting a number of businesses in customized plans specifically for your business needs.  Why pay for something you don’t need. We can take care of that for you!

DTR’s end products find undeniable appeal to increase awareness to YOUR Company’s intended audience.  Creating a message that focuses on the capability of attracting interest, amuse and stimulate the mind or emotions for a purpose. That first impression will get your intended audience looking at your business and keep them coming back for more.

DTR offers GREAT alternatives for your business through Print publications, Digital publications, Social Media posts, Website Design, Website Management, Banner Ad placement, Author services & Blogging.  DTR builds collaborative relations with other brands to create a win-win for everyone! Basically, we can pump your business up.

Keep in touch by signing up for our monthly newsletter!
Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save