If you’re an inventor, business owner, or a prospective entrepreneur, you probably are wondering what the competition is like. By looking at the intellectual property statistics in Fort Lauderdale, you can better understand what you’re up against. No matter where in the world you live, intellectual property is valuable. It’s crucial that you do what it takes to protect your property. Often, this means working with a patent attorney. Here at the Patent Professor, we have years of experience working with inventors and aspiring entrepreneurs. We can get you on the right path towards being a successful inventor or business owner.

What is Intellectual Property?

The term “intellectual property” is quite broad. In addition to referring to inventions, it also refers to artwork, company logos, and writing. If you have a new idea, it likely falls under the umbrella of intellectual property. Thanks to intellectual property laws, there are ways to protect your ideas. With copyrights, patents, and trademarks, you can keep your ideas safe from prying eyes. To have a better understanding of the intellectual property statistics, you need to know about the three types of protection for your ideas.

Copyright

A copyright is a way to protect your own expressive work. For example, copyright applies to paintings, books, and other creative works. With this type of protection, you get the exclusive rights to display, reproduce, or perform their works. You could be a playwright who wants sole rights to put on their play or a writer who doesn’t want anyone to sell their book. You can grant someone permission to use your creative work. However, you first need a copyright.

Patent

If you have an invention, you should seek a patent. This type of government grant makes you the only person capable of making, using, or selling your invention. It gives you protection for a set period of time but usually expires after 15 or 2 0 years. There are three basic types of patents. With a utility patent, you can protect an invention that serves a specific purpose. It could be a machine, chemical, or technology. On the other hand, a design patent only protects the appearance of an object. It does not cover the invention itself. The last type of patent is a plant patent. With one, you can protect an asexually producing new plant.

Trademark

This type of intellectual property protection is ideal for new business owners. A trademark allows you to protect the mark and name of your company or product. Therefore, it can be the one thing that distinguishes your business from the rest.

Why Does Intellectual Property Protection Matter?

Every type of intellectual property protection is important. Without it, your business could be at risk.  Whether you get a patent, copyright, or trademark, the protection is what makes you unique. Here are some of the basic advantages of obtaining the right protection for your business or idea:

Make Your Product Stand Out

If you have a unique product, that could keep customers coming to you and prevent them from going to your competitors. A trademark on a product name or a patent for a new invention can make your product truly stand out from the others.

Make Your Brand Stand Out

Often, customers rely on brand recognition to buy goods or services. But if another business steals your brand name or logo, you don’t have that recognition. It’s important to go through the necessary legal challenges to protect your intellectual property.

Keep Your Tech to Yourself

You could have specific technology that keeps your product or services better than others in the industry. Fortunately, you can maintain your advantage. A patent on a certain process or piece of equipment prevents anyone else from having the same advantage as you.

Don’t Worry About Keeping Secrets

If you’re worried about one of your business secrets getting out, you might have constant stress. You need to be wary of employees sharing your secrets or of competitors stealing your ideas. However, your property protection can stop that from happening.

The Statistics

In North America, there were 642,000 patent applications in 2016. That number is significantly higher than that of 2004, when there were only 395,100 applications. The same is true of trademark applications. In 2016, there were 797,700 applications for trademarks in 2016. But there were 420,800 applications in 2004. If you look at the population statistics, you can partially understand why the number of applications rose. Fort Lauderdale had about 182,595 residents in 2018. In 2010, a census estimate only recorded 165,521 people. The population has been steadily growing. Furthermore, the economy is thriving. Recent job growth, future job growth, and the unemployment rate are all better than the national average. For those reasons, Fort Lauderdale is a great place for inventors. The economy is ready for new products and processes to improve life. If you’re an inventor or small business owner, there are also some great resources locally available to you.

Resources Available in Broward County

There are many resources available to inventors who live in Broward County. For instance, there are three libraries in Florida that are designated Patent and Trademark Resource Centers, or PTRCs. One of those libraries is located in Fort Lauderdale at the Broward County Main Library. With this designation, the library is a great resource for those who want local advice on their patent. The staff members there are trained to help you with the USPTO systems. Another useful local resource is the Inventors Society of Florida. Although the organization is based in Boca Raton, it is available to those who live in Fort Lauderdale and all of South Florida. The organization gives you a chance to network with other inventors and entrepreneurs.

Working with an Attorney

One of your best resources is a patent attorney. While it’s great to do your own research, it’s also beneficial to work with a professional. The Patent Professor has years of experience working with the patent office. We know what it takes to get a patent, and we can take you through the complicated process. Contact us today and we can get started.

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