As an architect your designs combine creativity, technical skill, experience and your unique style. You provide your clients with a customized experience and your work product is one-of-a-kind. Whether you focus on residential or commercial, custom design or license plans in bulk, your work and your business need to be protected. Below are three intellectual property tips that will help you keep your business safe from those who might attempt to profit from your ideas and creativity.
Tip 1: Register your Copyrights
One of the most important things you can do to protect your intellectual property is to register your designs as architectural works with the US copyright office. Registering a copyright is a relatively easy and affordable way to not only protect your design but also put yourself in the best possible position for the future if someone does try to use your designs without your permission. US Copyright law protects the owners of copyright registrations by providing for increased damages awards and more options if your work is registered before someone copies it.
Tip 2: Draft Strong Licensing Agreements
You might have a great contract your clients sign when they engage your design services. You are clear about your fees and payment requirements as well as what the client should expect in the work product. But do you have a tight copyright license section? Have you had an IP attorney review your licensing agreements for you? Do you sell your designs online or in a publication? Making sure that your designs are being licensed to your clients not only protects your IP, it protects your clients and your reputation.
Tip 3: Think About Your Trademark
The name you use in business is your trademark. Your logo says a lot about your style and approach. These are essential to creating a strong business and brand. It is likely that your clients and potential clients recognize your style by your trademark. Your drawings likely have your name and logo on them. This is how you indicate to the public where your designs come from and the quality of product they are purchasing. Protecting your name and logo with a trademark registration is an essential part of helping your business thrive.
Contact an Intellectual Property Attorney
If you have questions about the state of your IP or for a consultation with an IP attorney, feel free to Contact Us today. We’d love to help protect your work and business.