Intellectual property is worth protecting

Deb Zwez

Intellectual property is just that, “property,” says a patent expert. “It has inherent value and should be protected.”

Attorney Jacob Ward spent two hours Wednesday sharing that message during a seminar sponsored by the Rhodes State College Small Business Development Center. Ward, a Tiffin-based attorney is also a professor at the University of Toledo’s College of Law, said his presentation was his “hour one, day one” class in patent law, in abbreviated form.

Protection comes in four areas: a patent, or three non-patent options, including trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Ward defined each one and shared their pros and cons.

A trademark is your “source identifier,” Ward said, something that marks your product vs. a competitor’s product.

“It distinguishes your product,” he said, noting trademark protections come with use. “As soon as you use your product in the marketplace, it is yours.”

Ward talked about what qualities a good...

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