Manhattan is a hotbed for ideas. Major corporations have trade secrets they want to keep close, tech startups need to trademark their names and logos and all manner of creatives, from playwrights to authors, have original works for which they’d like to retain the rights. Broadly speaking, all these concepts are known collectively as intellectual property. And fortunately, you can protect it.
Intellectual property is something that begins as an intangible idea, such as song lyrics, lines of computer code, a list of customers, a formula, or a logo idea. Once put in a tangible form, such intellectual property can be protected, so that others are prevented from using it or holding out the work as their own. The type of protection available to the owner of intellectual property varies by the type of work that they wish to protect.
For example, a recipe, formula or client list may be considered a trade secret. In New York, trade secrets can be protected through both the way they are used in business and through private contracts like non-disclosure and non-compete agreements. Something like a corporate logo would more likely be considered a trademark. The best way to prevent others from using a mark similar to yours is to register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Original works like books, plays, songs or computer software are protected through copyright. Creators of such work own the copyright in their works as soon as they create them. However, registering the work with U.S. Copyright Office will help to demonstrate that the work is original to its owner. If you think you have an original work, trade secret or mark that requires protection, contact our firm or visit our firm’s intellectual property page to see how we can help you.