Protecting Your Work

Authors are not alone in the quest to protect their work. Creative people everywhere worry about their creations and keeping them safe from thieves. I’ve noticed some of us worry more than others, though. How much is warranted versus rampant paranoia? That I cannot answer.

I have learned a lot about the methods of protecting work. I hold a patent, worked a little with trademarks, and as a writer I live by copyrights. Sometimes I hear others mixing up the words, but they’re very different things.

A copyright protects original works such as poetry, novels, songs, movies, computer software, and architecture falling under the categories of “literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works.”

A trademark is a brand name. It has intent to be used to identify a good or service in a commercial aspect. This includes names, words, symbols or other devices used together or separately.

A patent protects an invention or an improvement to an invention. This doesn’t cover just a physical thing, but may also cover a process.

People don’t confuse patents as often. Trademarks and copyrights should be distinct, too. A copyright cannot be used for a title or a name. Don’t be afraid to protect your intellectual property, and investigate the processes involved to do them properly.

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