In Canada, federal government has exclusive power to legislate in most areas of intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, copyrights and industrial designs while the provinces have exclusive power to legislate over property and civil rights and matters of local interest Intellectual property includes patents, trademarks, copyrights and industrial designs
The IP protection tools are broken down into 2 distinct areas: Industrial and copyright
Patent A client who has developed a new innovative product which needs protection from others who may copy it should consider a patent. It is expensive, requires extensive drawings and generally a legal representative. A patent that is pending is one that is in process and essentially gives the world the opportunity to see the product before the patent is granted. It also gives unscrupulous people advance warning, if you will, of the invention’. A person must patent the product in each country they want to protect their product. For more information about patents go to this website (http://howtopatentsomething.org/).
Trademark A trademark is an identifiable logo, picture or mark that is associated with the company and represents the business to the world.
Copyright This is the broadest form of IP protection, Copyright covers literary, artistic, creative, and aesthetic works. Copyright can be attained simply by posting work to a website. Copyright protects an artists original work and theoretically protects the work from copying or otherâ„¢s use. A photographer for instance has copyright over his work if he charges a client a fee for a job but if he charges the client for materials as well the client owns the copyright.Copyright infringement relief can be obtained from the courts.
Copyright has some inherent drawbacks.. First, attempts at privatizing copyright ignore its non-rivalrous nature: Unlike with real property or tangible goods, one person’s use of creative works does not necessarily preclude another’s simultaneous use of the same creative work. Second, the entire theory of authorship presumes that such an author has had no inspiration from or connection to others from which he would draw upon and improve ideas or concepts. Instead, it is rare that authors create something wholly original. Instead, derivation of some sort is the norm.
Industrial design These are rights that protect the visual design of objects that are not purely utilitarian. An industrial design consists of the creation of a shape, configuration or composition of pattern or color, or combination of pattern and color in three dimensional form containing aesthetic value. An industrial design can be a two- or three-dimensional pattern used to produce a product, industrial commodity or handicraft.
Another uncommon tool is the Trade Secrets Act. One assumes this relates to the recipe for KFC chicken coating or Coca Cola but it protects any business which has a secret ingredient or process that is not generally known and would have an economic value if the competition found out the secret.
The problem with all of the above is some jurisdictions, notably China in the past have not recognized IP in the way it should be required by international law. It also is inherent that the aggrieved party has the finance to take the infringer to court. The idea of those with the deepest pockets is not right but often is the way things are settled in a dispute. INNOVATIVE LICENSING & PROMOTION, INC. is another website offering some good advice in a number of areas mainly patents and inventions.