If identified and used correctly, intellectual property (IP) can be a small business’s most valuable asset. There are two basic types of IP – registered and unregistered. It’s important to recognise their differences because this knowledge can inform what steps you want to take.
As its name implies, this is a form of IP that’s been registered with a national IP office like the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ).
IPONZ website (external link) has more detail on each IP type.
Although not registered with a national agency like IPONZ, these still offer legal protection and can help protect secret information.
The IPONZ website (external link) has more detail on each IP type.
Freelance photographer Dana plans to update her online gallery of wedding shots and food photography — a mix of commissioned and contract work. She checks her business files for client copyright or permission agreements. After hearing horror stories from fellow photographers, Dana has recently been very careful about documenting these.
But in her first few years, she didn’t always do this. This is important because it’s generally assumed the person who pays a photographer is the first copyright owner.
Where Dana finds agreements – which give the client ownership – she asks permission to use the photos and files the correspondence. Where no agreements are in place, Dana checks with these previous clients to see if they’re OK with her intended use of the photos.
To prevent unauthorised use of the images, Dana publishes only lower resolution photos and watermarks each one with a copyright indicator.
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