MMS Briefs: Protecting your intellectual property

Protecting your intellectual property


The 2010 film The Social Network shows the start of the Facebook phenomena and what can happen when someone claims that their intellectual property has been stolen. Mark Zuckerberg is now a billionaire and Facebook is one of the best known brands in the world. But just imagine if the Winklevoss twins had been successful in their case against Zuckerberg, a case involving intellectual property theft!



We have all had ideas that we think are unique. Some ideas are better than others. Sometimes we write our ideas down, sometimes we turn the ideas into artistic works such as paintings, films or photos and sometimes we create designs or unique trade names. Sometimes we create software programs such as Facebook.


In transferring our ideas from thoughts to some kind of material form such as writing (eg emails, letters, blogs, software, a note on a scrap of paper), a photo we take, a film we create, a musical score that we notate, we have created intellectual property or IP. There are many laws that give protection to creative endeavour after they have gone from simply an idea to some material form.


By understanding those laws a person or business can, among other things:


· protect their ideas

· exploit the ideas that they have converted to a material form

· commercialise their creative endeavours

· obtain monopoly rights in the product or goods that they have created.


At Moin Morris Schaefer we can assist you in all aspects of IP. We have for years given advice to clients in matters involving all aspects of IP including copyright, trade mark applications, trade secrets and confidentiality and licensing of intellectual property.


The Social Network shows how important it is to have an understanding of your intellectual property rights and to protect them at all costs. Although we didn’t act for Mark Zuckerberg, Moin Morris Schaefer can assist you with all your intellectual property needs. Phone us on: 6772 4899 (Armidale) 6584 1185 (Port Macquarie) 6559 9800 (Laurieton)

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