A trademark is a symbol, logo or other forms of iconography that is registered to a certain company as its own visual mark for the purposes of representation in media. It is essentially an exclusive right to a certain visual symbol, which is used in advertising to create a brand, or on packaging to differentiate the product from its competitors. Trademarks can be acquired after a long process, including steps such as filing the relevant forms, and trademark objections. In this post, we will examine copyrights, patents and trademarks are which types of assets.
Copyrights, Patents and Trademarks are which types of assets?
Copyrights, patents and trademarks are very similar in nature and are the same type of assets at the end of the day. Their nature is very similar to financial assets and intangible assets. We will examine them under the scope of each of these terms.
A financial asset is a liquid asset that gets its value from a claim of ownership or a right obtained through a contract.
- “Liquid asset” refers to something that can be bought or sold in the immediate future in exchange for cash.
- Examples of liquid assets include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and bank deposits.
- Although the asset may seem intangible, with only a hypothetical value, their value is derived from a contract that assigns them a real value.
- Share certificates, for instance, derive their value from the fact that the company officially distributed them and they have a contractual obligation to recognise their value.
In this way, financial assets have values that may not be apparent at first glance. An important qualification for an asset to be a financial asset is for the value to not depend on the asset itself, but a separate instrument such as the contract that gives it its value. The point of a contract in relation to copyrights, patents and trademarks is to establish ownership. The existence of a contract does not make the copyright, patent and trademark a financial asset as the contract does not assign the patent a value.
Copyrights, patents and trademarks are essentially licences given by a governing authority to have the sole claim over a particular literary or artistic work, process or invention, or visual depiction.. The value of one of these instruments in a transaction depends on its application and not the existence of the instrument itself. As the value is not derived from a contract, copyrights, patents and trademarks cannot be classified as financial assets.
Then the question arises, “copyrights, patents and trademarks are which type of asset?” The second class of assets that we must consider is of intangible assets. The characteristics of an intangible asset are as follows:
- An intangible asset is an asset that is not physical in nature. The value of an intangible asset comes from its application and its utility in further business processes.
- Goodwill and brand recognition are notable examples of intangible assets. They do not take a physical form, but their existence helps companies in their business ventures.
- This is very different from financial assets, as those necessarily exist and their application in future cases is generally not considered when determining their value.
- A trademark is not physical in nature, as it is a right to exclusivity granted by a governing authority. Its value comes from how the process or invention that it protects can be used in future situations.
- Therefore, trademarks, and similar instruments such as copyright and patents, are intangible assets that are used in the course of conducting business.
Despite not being financial assets, copyrights, patents and trademarks are very important when starting a business that relies on a particular product or process that must be protected from replication. Acquiring a trademark can boost product differentiation, which can help in growing your business.
How to get a patent in India
The patenting process in India is governed by the Patents Act of 1970. The provisions for getting a patent are as follows:
- The inventor of the thing being patented, an assignee, or a legal heir of the inventor (if the inventor is deceased) can apply for a patent.
- Depending on the jurisdiction of the applicant, the application must be submitted to the head office of the Indian Patent Office or one of its many branches.
- The invention being patented must be novel and unique. Improvements in current technology, in most situations, cannot be patented.
- The invention must be useful in some manner. An invention with no utility cannot be patented.
The process for getting a patent is:
- Invention disclosure – Talk to a professional lawyer about your invention under a non-disclosure agreement.
- Patentability determination – The lawyer will check whether the invention has the potential to be patentable by analysing it against the threshold for patentability.
- Filing the patent – The lawyer will then file the patent in your name, and pay the relevant government fees.
- Request for examination – Now, you must request an examination of your invention by the Indian Patent Office. A representative will examine your invention to assess its potential for being patented.
- Responding to objections – If there are any objections from the Indian Patent Office, they must be addressed and acknowledged before the process can continue.
- Grant of patent – If all other steps have gone through without a hitch, then your patent will be granted. Patents are usually valid for a period of 20 years.
- Patent renewal – After the period of validity ends, which is usually around 20 years, the patent must be renewed for a nominal fee.
Trademarks make up a very important part of any business. The answer to “copyrights, patents and trademarks are which type of asset?” is necessary to determine the type of asset that an instrument directly affects its application in business. Trademarks are intangible assets, and they are acquired through a lengthy registration process. Dealing with trademark objections during this process is difficult, which is why it is recommended to consult a lawyer before doing so.