For all business owners, one of the most important questions you should be asking yourself is, “How can I protect my business’ Intellectual Property?”.

Intellectual Property generally refers to your business’ intangible assets. So, if you’ve got an idea, a logo, a process for doing something or a business name, this all counts as your IP. So naturally, in an increasingly competitive business environment, you want to take measures to protect this property from being stolen or misused. 

There are a number of ways you can go about protecting assets. For example, think about:

However, one of the main forms of protection is Copyright

What Is Copyright?

To put it quite simply, copyright is what protects your IP when it is expressed in some material form. So, if your idea is put into writing, this is automatically protected by copyright in Australia (this works a bit differently internationally, so if your business operates globally, make sure you’re familiar with copyright in an international context). 

In other words, you would have the exclusive right to use that material as you wish. 

In addition to protecting your own IP, you want to make sure you aren’t stealing anyone else’s IP as well. This is known as infringing copyright

So, it’s good business practice to speak to a lawyer who can advise you on the legal issues that would apply to your business depending on the nature of your business activities and the kind of IP you’re dealing with. 

Why Is Copyright Important?

When it comes to IP, every business owner deserves to take credit for their creations. After all, it usually results from lots of hard work and effort. 

Business environments are also extremely competitive, so your IP is often something that helps you stand out from the crowd. The last thing you want is not having ownership of what you create, or having it taken from you and threatening your competitive edge. 

If I Accidentally Infringe Copyright, Am I Still Liable?

The short answer here is yes. Even if you infringe copyright unintentionally, and you weren’t aware of it, you would still be liable for copyright infringement. 

This is why it’s important to ensure you’ve spoken to a lawyer about any copyright issues that might arise during the course of your business. With so many things going on, it can be easy to skim over some important IP issues and accidentally breach copyright laws. 

For example, it’s good practice to check on existing registers (IP Australia) before you use a certain name or logo. Forgetting to do so may result in issues like a Trade Mark Opposition

Who Can I Speak To About Copyright For My Business?

At Sprintlaw, we have a team of expert lawyers who can answer your questions and advise you on legal issues that apply to you. 

Our Copyright Consult package includes a phone consultation with a Sprintlaw lawyer who can discuss your copyright concerns and advise you of your options moving forward. 

Next Steps

If you’re worried about copyright issues, or you want to know how you can protect your IP, have a chat with us!

If you would like a consultation on your options going forward, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or for a free, no-obligations chat.

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