The Four Pillars of Intellectual Property: What are they and how you can use them to benefit your business

Intellectual Property can be as valuable to your business as tangible property. In 2000 the Harvard Business Review reported that income from Intellectual Property equaled 1/9 of IBM’s 1999 pre tax profit. (Harvard Business Review, Jan/Feb 2000).

What are the four pillars? They are the four categories or protectable intellectual property: Patent, Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secrets. Each encompasses a different sort of information and has different methods to protect them.

  • Patent
    Patents generally govern inventions. The patent system was designed to encourage inventors to share their creations with the community. These creations can be almost any sort of machine, process or, in some cases, a design.
  • Trademarks 
    A trademark is a symbol, a group of words or a combination of the two which represent a business or product and which have been registered with the appropriate authorities. Trademarks can also include slogans.
  • Copyright
    A copyright grants to the creator of an original work the right to control if and when that original work can be used by others. The copyright exists from the moment the worked has been fixed in some format. It can be written down, made an audio recording or other appropriate rendition.
  • Trade Secrets 
    Trade secret law was developed to provide protection for important business information that cannot be protected any other way. It allows the owner of the information to prevent others from making use of that information. (California Business Litigation, CEB, 2018, sect. 4.1)

The Centauri Law Group can assist you with all manner of Intellectual Property litigation as well as registration of trademarks and copyrights.