Have you ever noticed the ®, ™, or © symbols next to a company logo and wonder why they’re so important? These small, unnoticeable symbols are actually very important in keeping our economy strong. This is what each of them mean:
The ® means that the logo, product, or idea is registered with the US Patent Office and is a patent, which means that its owner has the right to prevent others from taking and using this idea.
The ™ is for trademarks, which are signs that identify products or services that come from a particular source.
The © is for copyrights, which are rights for the creator of an idea to allow others to use the idea.
Companies use copyrights, trademarks, and patents to protect their intellectual property (IP) rights, which are highly important for businesses, consumers, and the world economy.
Below are 4 reasons why intellectual property rights are so important, and ways to claim intellectual property in the United States and Ukraine.
Intellectual Property Rights help economic growth
IP rights help a company make sure that its ideas do not spill over and get copied by others. They promote a competitive economy and allow companies to use their original ideas to grow and create a strong economic impact. In the US, intellectual property rights indirectly and directly lead to more than 40% of economic growth.
Intellectual Property Rights protect consumers
IP rights make sure products are authentic and high-quality. This helps consumers make sure the products they are buying are safe and guaranteed for themselves and their families.
Intellectual Property Rights helps create global solutions to global problems
IP rights give inventors and creatives the incentive* to create new technologies to help solve problems like malnutrition, illness, or pollution. This is very important given the different issues we face in the world today.
Intellectual Property Rights Reward Entrepreneurship
IP rights remind entrepreneurs, business leaders, and inventors that their ideas are valued by allowing them to own their inventions and make sure they are not misused. At the same time, IP rights make sure these inventions are good-quality. This makes sure positive innovation happens in the economy.
United States: To file a patent in the US, make sure you keep track of your product’s invention process in a notebook with descriptions for each step. Then see if your invention is eligible* for patent protection and do a thorough patent search to make sure your idea is not already taken. Once you do that, file an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Ukraine: If you have a new and valuable idea and want to file a patent in Ukraine, follow the same steps above and fill out an application and send it to the Ukrainian Patent Office. Wait for the Office’s decision, and if appropriate, appeal* the decision to the court or Appellate Chamber of the Patent Office. For more information, click here.
Intellectual property rights are very important, and a world without IP rights is a world with poor economic health. Know your intellectual property rights and spread awareness of these rights to others!
incentive - motivation
eligible - having the right to get something
appeal - apply to undo a court’s decision
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yuri Nesen is a student at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C. studying Global Business, Diplomatic Studies, and Arabic. He enjoys watching animated movies, running and exploring new places, and he is a complete dessert fanatic.