With new technology comes fresh ways to protect your creative ideas. The traditional tactics used to guard intellectual property are important and effective. However, companies are looking further for improvements. Innovations come with new systems designed to further copyright protections and improve watermarking.

Before we go any further, here’s a rundown of intellectual property and how it works.

What Is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property is specific to types of property that signifies some manner of immeasurable creation by someone’s intellect. This includes things like logos, symbols, drawings and pictures. Intellectual property is defined by certain territories and laws. It is protected by things such as trademarks, copyrights and patents.

Hands holding a copyright logo.
Intellectual property pertains to individual creations.

Say for example a company created a logo of two birds and an owl on a tree branch. They drew it up and filed a copyright on it. This logo becomes their intellectual property. They are then able to do whatever they want with it, including restrict other people from copying the exact logo.

Now that you understand intellectual property a little more in-depth, here’s some ways to protect your creations.

Apply Digital Copyright

A copyright defines ownership of a creative asset. Digitally, this ranges from media to software. Making a copyright claim is a hassle, especially if a company is managing large amounts of media in an online space or sharing it with clients. One way companies combat the legal challenges of upholding copyrighted material is by using software that automates checks and balances which prevent misuse of their media in the first place.

A picture of a license digitized.
Copyright claims can be difficult.

One such software system is digital asset management (DAM), a program that goes beyond the traditional protections of media. With DAM, the system can watermark images. This protects content while avoiding extensive legal battles or endless searches for misuse of company-owned media. Look to DAM when you need extra automation to help protect your work.

Digital Patents for Technological Ideas

A patent is mainly intended for protection against unauthorized use of an idea that involves creation of something new or a new way to do something. A patent allows the owner of the idea to profit off those who benefit financially from their invention. Digitally, this involves new forms of computer code or programming.

An example of patents in a digital realm is seen with companies who allow users to save information for future convenience of transactions. For example, eBay found a way to use technology to let a frequent buyer of goods to save their information, including billing information, and forego numerous requests for data every time they make a purchase on their website. eBay could patent this idea if it is original.

A picture of hands holding a trademark application form.
Apply digital patents to prevent unauthorized use of content.

Trademarks to Represent a Company

Trademarks tie an idea or product to an enterprise. A digital trademark is protected through registration at the necessary trademark office of that location. A digital trademark indicates in some way that a software program or media file is part of an enterprise.

An example of a digital trademark is a logo attached to something that doesn’t explicitly state the company name or have a trademark symbol or copyright symbol attached to it. If Apple releases an image of a new product but only chooses to show their Apple logo, they are still showing ownership.

As intellectual property continues to extend its reach into the digital landscape, look for the most efficient ways to apply it to your own creative ownership.

Casey Schmidt – Content Manager and Industry Expert | Canto

Casey is a content management and branding expert who enjoys taking complex subjects and making them easy to understand for readers.