For many entrepreneurs and business people in Colorado, intellectual property is a highly prized asset. Indeed, for the tech industry in particular, copyrights, trademarks, patents and other IP have led to some particularly well-known disputes that have required extensive litigation to resolve. During acquisitions and mergers, many technology corporations view handling potential intellectual property issues as paramount.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 appears to contain good news for businesses in Colorado that earn income from intellectual property. Previously, corporations might pay as much as 35 percent in taxes on royalties from patents and other intellectual property. Tax reform has lowered the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, but the act specifies a lower rate of 13.125 percent for income from intellectual property.
For today's artists to be able to use the works of others freely, said works have to be in the public domain; otherwise, the works would still be protected by copyright laws. Citizens of Colorado might be surprised to learn that no new works have entered the public domain in the U.S. since 1923, according to recent estimates.
Many entrepreneurs in Colorado and across the United States want to protect their ideas and the unique labels they have created for them through the trademark process. It can provide specific protection for a business name, and a memorable one can be a huge part of any company's marketing plan. Filing for a trademark can involve significant preparation and concern about meeting various laws and regulations that govern the process.
As those in Colorado may know, intellectual property disputes can involve disagreements between large corporations over distribution procedures. Such is the case with entertainment giant Disney and one of the major rental distribution companies, Redbox.
Life scientists and companies in Colorado planning to protect their rights to biotechnology have hit legal hurdles in recent years. A 2012 decision from the Supreme Court of the United States narrowed the ability to award patents for biotechnology, and courts have been striking down existing patents that intellectual property owners had once thought secure. Concerned parties, such as the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the American Bar Association's Section of Intellectual Property Law and the Intellectual Property Owners Association have proposed revising a portion of U.S. patent law to spell out specific guidelines for determining which biotechnology deserves patent protection.
Intellectual property is any type of work or invention that is the result of creativity. In the state of Colorado, inventors, authors, musicians, and artists need to protect their intellectual property to prevent others from using or financially benefiting from their creations without their permission. There are three types of IP protection: trademark, patent, and copyright. The following example shows how these different kinds of IP protections can apply in the development of a health app.
Entrepreneurs and business owners in the Colorado cannabis industry have unique motivations to protect their intellectual property. A strong strategy in many cases requires securing trademark protection for new strains of cannabis as well as cannabis-related products. Trademark protection is available for visual features, such as phrases, symbols and words, that consumers associate with a particular company or product. It grants exclusive rights to the owner to use it in commerce.
Colorado entrepreneurs generally try to get their new business ventures up and running as quickly as possible, but this eagerness to bring products or services to market can sometimes lead to important legal issues being overlooked. While new business owners usually take steps to ensure that their insurance coverage is adequate and all of the permits and licenses they need are in place before opening their doors, they often fail to address the important issue of intellectual property.
Many business owners in Colorado and around the country are finding it increasingly difficult to protect their intellectual property in the information age. Eight out of ten of the senior executives who were surveyed in a poll said that intellectual property infringement was becoming more common, but many of them also said that they were doing little to keep track of or address the problem.