While the potential exposure and market penetration for businesses in cyberspace is endless, so is the potential for infringement and theft of company secrets, brand identifiers and other intellectual property. It is now (more then ever) important to protect these assets. Doing so in our high-tech world goes beyond worrying about whether or not someone will use your company's name or mark on a sign or in an ad. The very nature of the World Wide Web opens up a new litany of potential problems and possible infringements.
Some ways to protect your company's intellectual property online include:
1. First and foremost, identify what intellectual property you have on your site. For example, company names, logos and slogans may be entitled to trademark protection. Pictures, editorial content, layout and even sounds on the site are some examples of copyrightable works. Register these forms of intellectual property on a national and, if applicable, international basis. Registration serves as notice to the public that you are the rightful owner of the work and will help if you have to file a lawsuit to protect those rights.
2. Affix the appropriate symbol (i.e. TM, © or ®) at the bottom of each Web page and with all uses of your corporate name, logo and tagline. Again, this serves as notice of ownership and prevents an infringer from claiming that he or she did not know they were doing anything wrong.
3. Beware of cyber squatters who may register versions of your company name in hopes of selling the domain back to you for inflated prices. The most recent example of this situation is when someone registered "Pope Benedict XVI" prior to his appointment....Click here to read the rest of the article at YoungMoney.com.