We often use this blog to discuss some of the challenges that Colorado entrepreneurs face when it comes to protecting their business. One of the ways in which this can be accomplished is by patenting a specific product, process or solution. Patents and other types of intellectual properties can give rights to or ownership of an invention to one party. Patenting an invention means that it becomes publicly disclosed information, but no one else has the rights to use the patented material without permission.
Many companies have products or services that they wish to trademark in order to identify themselves as the source of the material. Business owners want consumers to have certain expectations of a product met when they purchase or use something that has been trademarked by a company. Protecting proprietary rights by applying to trademark something can be a huge benefit to companies, but it must be done so effectively, lawfully and responsibly.
People with a new idea or invention generally want to protect their ownership of it. Companies in Colorado and nationwide will go to great lengths to hire people to develop products or solutions that give them an edge in the marketplace. When and if these ideas are realized, many of them are considered to be quite valuable and can be classified as intellectual property.
Innovation and creative solutions are some of the most valuable and desirable achievements for business owners. Many companies pride themselves on being in a position of standard-setting and originality. Protecting the ideas and products that someone creates is often detrimental to a company's success, which is why it can be crucial for business owners in Colorado to understand intellectual property laws.
There is no doubt that the world is becoming more technologically-savvy, and the business environment in Colorado and worldwide is turning to online and virtual solutions to real-world issues. Online communities are growing, Internet products are thriving and ideas are being shared faster than ever before. With so much happening online, there is also a shift in traditional types of intellectual property.
Business owners across Colorado understand the importance of protecting the interests of the company. In an increasingly competitive and technologically-savvy market, maintaining control over patented products, copyrights, trade secrets and other types of intellectual property is often a top priority. If ownership of these vital assets is ever threatened or challenged, it can be crucial to take legal action to protect the future of a business.
For some Colorado companies, intellectual property and copyrights are their superpower that allows them to succeed and grow and that holds true for Warner Bros. as well. Recently a judge ruled that the company will retain the copyrights to the Superman character originally created by Joe Shuster. Heirs to Joe Shuster's estate attempted to reassert their rights to the Superman character despite a U.S. District Court judge's 1992 ruling which granted those rights to DC Comics shortly after the artist's death. The Superman character first appeared in 1938 and has remained a powerful image and even a brand some might say for almost 75 years.
No doubt anyone in Colorado or elsewhere has heard about the numerous patent infringement lawsuits currently being litigated around the globe. Just recently, Samsung was handed more than a $1 billion defeat in the patent infringement case against Apple and now it wants a new trial because the jury foreman did not disclose some rather interesting litigation he was involved in back in 1993. The jury foreman was sued by his former employer, Seagate, after he filed for bankruptcy. Samsung has a strategic relationship with Seagate and because of that substantial connection the jury foreman may have been biased in the case, claims Samsung.
Historically speaking, we do not see a large number of intellectual property lawsuits involving fashion designers. Everyone in Denver and around the world knows that designers copy each other's creations daily, but there is a new trend in the fashion industry where designers are obtaining patents on their designs and then choosing to enforce those patents when they feel another company or designer is infringing on their patent rights. Such is the case with a yoga-apparel company called Lululemon Athletica Inc., which is accusing Calvin Klein Inc. in a lawsuit of infringing on some of its design patents pertaining to its popular "Astro Pant" yoga pants that retail for $98.
Innovation is often achieved by expanding on prior innovations. As many Denver business owners know, once a new technology hits the market other companies will try and improve upon that technology, innovation breeds innovation just like necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes. And now a company's ability to build on the innovations of others just got easier. Introducing the IPXI - a new intellectual property exchange, which provides a one-stop place to sell, buy or trade intellectual property and patent rights.