The Definition of Intellectual Property and Why You Need Insurance

As quoted from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the definition of intellectual property is, “the ownership of a dream, an idea, an improvement, an emotion that we can touch, see, hear, and feel. It is an asset just like your home, your car, or your bank account.”  Put more simply it’s an idea or concept which you have yourself created and legally protected.


There are two basic forms of intellectual property.  They are industrial property and copyright.  Industrial property includes inventions, patents, trademarks and design.  Copyright includes artistic works such as novels, musical scores, and photos.  Some examples of things that might be copyrighted are radio, TV, and architecture.  Taking any of the aforementioned items without consent is equivalent to stealing something from a store or shop.  The copyrighted or industrial properties are like physical assets and as such, there are serious repercussions for anyone foolish enough to try and take them.  This is the precise reason why one might need insurance to protect themselves, and their ideas.


In a recent interview Jay Carney of the White House announced that, “that trade secret theft can cripple a company’s competitive advantage in foreign markets, diminish export prospects around the globe, and put American jobs in jeopardy.”  Its ideas and perspectives like this in the media which are shedding light to such a crucial topic in the business landscape.


One of the most significant and influential examples of Intellectual Property infringement was the case of Napster versus the Recording Industry Association of America.  Napster was the first file sharing program to spread like wildfire, but owned no rights to any of the music on its platform.  Napster was eventually forced to close down.  Most times intellectual property insurance can protect you from lawsuits when someone states that you infringed on their idea, but only if you can prove that you were unaware of the infringement.  Intellectual Property Insurance is very different than auto insurance due to the number of different situations that can arise.  Getting a quote isn’t exactly the easiest of things to accomplish but luckily, you’ve got us to call if you have any questions.

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