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Intellectual property rights are a facet of our globalized world. Companies are increasingly concerned with protecting their IP, and a major part of that is through digital channels. Digital marketing is one such channel that provides numerous opportunities to protect your brand's reputation and image and maintain consistent customer loyalty.

Here, we will discuss challenges related to digital marketing and intellectual property; we will also discuss how to overcome them.

What Is Intellectual Property?

The term intellectual property (IP) refers to intangible assets such as inventions, designs, literary works, and symbols that result from creative thinking.

It can be protected by legal rights that allow creators to benefit from their work and prevent others from using it without permission. Intellectual property lawyers specialize in helping individuals and organizations protect their IP rights.

They provide advice on how to register for copyright or trademark protection, how to defend against infringement claims, and how to litigate disputes over IP ownership. With the help of an intellectual property lawyer, businesses can ensure that they are taking all necessary steps to protect their valuable intellectual property assets while still achieving their marketing goals.

What Is Intellectual Property Law?

A legal system relating to Intellectual Property (IP) protects a person's creative work, including inventions, designs, brands, artwork, musical compositions, etc.

The establishment, protection, enforcement, and promotion of such rights are facilitated by means such as patents (usually for technical inventions), trademarks (for goods and services), copyrights (music, art, and literature), and designs (products and logos).

Types of Intellectual Property

The situation could seem straightforward because many readily available products and services, along with any corresponding intellectual property rights, are the sole property of a specific person or group of people.

Nonetheless, various intellectual property difficulties relate to creativity and advertising, specifically about advertisers' attempts to secure intellectual property rights for their distinctive and creative works (IPRs).

For a digital advertising campaign to be successful, an advertisement must first be spotted and retained long enough for the targeted customer to be persuaded of its special selling proposition.

In terms of intellectual property, there are four basic types: trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets.

1. Patents

In addition to being able to create, market, and use your innovation, a patent gives you the exclusive right to it (and prevents others from doing so). When you receive a patent, it typically lasts for 20 years; however, some patents only last 14 years. Your patent expires after 20 years, at which point anyone can make, market, and replicate your innovation.

You must make your invention's specifics available to the general public for someone who is "practiced in the arts" to be able to duplicate it in exchange for the "monopoly."

2. Copyrights

What is a copyright? Despite common misconceptions, copyrights and patents are not the same things. The term "copyright" refers to a sort of intellectual property protection that safeguards original works of authorship, which may include music, art, literature, and other genres.

Copyrights now also cover the architecture and software of computers. Whenever you develop something, it is yours; copyright protections are inevitable. It will be important to register your copyright, in case your copyright rights are violated and you want to sue.

3. Trademarks

A trademark uniquely distinguishes your goods or services and can be any term, phrase, symbol, design, or combination. It serves as the primary means consumers identify your business in the marketplace. Generally speaking, we refer to both trademarks and service marks as "trademarks" in our word usage. For commodities, a trademark is employed; for services, a "service mark".

4. Trade Secret

How do trade secrets work? A trade secret can be any hidden corporate information that gives a corporation a competitive edge. For example, the formula for Coca-Cola might be regarded as a trade secret. Now, if I started a soda business and made drinks exactly like Coca-Cola, I would be violating a trade secret owned by Coke.

This is a broad illustration, but trade secrets can also be defined as distribution methods (Walmart), sales methods, consumer information, advertising campaigns, and strategies, lists of suppliers and customers, and production procedures. Typically, corporate (industrial) espionage, contract violations, or even something as easy as leaving your prototype iPhone at a bar result in the release of trade secrets.

Although it is extremely difficult to secure IPRs in the digital market, advertising creations can be protected using intellectual property strategies and other legal tools:

Copyright Protection:

By the nation's copyright rules, an advertiser may register the advertising campaign there. Depending on the national regulations, software used to construct internet advertising campaigns may be protected by patents and copyright.

Patent Protection:

Advertisers are encouraged to submit a patent application for novel advertising technologies in nations where such protection is available.

Trademark Registration:

In a marketing campaign, trademarks must be appropriately registered and respected. To increase a brand's distinctiveness and value, advertisers should adhere to the characteristics of their trademarks and mark them with a trademark notice.

Avoidance of Trade Secrets Disclosure:

When information (a trade secret) is disclosed, even unintentionally, and provides the business with a competitive edge, the business may be protected by laws on unfair competition or trade secrets. Due to the inability to secure no longer original and unique knowledge, a corporation should refrain from disclosing trade secrets to the general public.

A corporation with a distinctive and innovative advertising concept benefits from a dominant medium of influence. But, there is a chance that this will be abused or misused. As a result of pressure from rights holders, governments everywhere are taking action.

However, finding a more suitable and specific legal framework may provide its own set of difficulties, given the relatively young and rapidly evolving nature of online digital content services. It is, therefore, impractical to assume a simple tracking of behavioral patterns.

Strategies for IP in the Digital Economy

There are three main pillars for managing IP that manufacturing companies should consider if they want to be well-positioned and ready to flourish in the digital economy.


To succeed in the digital economy, businesses will need to have access to or own IP management and awareness capabilities.

Business Objectives and Structures

Every effective and forward-looking IP strategy must align with organizational frameworks and company objectives.

For example, while technologies may be managed within patent departments, brands may be dealt with by marketing departments, trademarks by legal teams, contracts by a purchasing department, and software and data within IT. This may require consolidating existing IP management, frequently dispersed across multiple departments.


Organizations need to develop their own integrated digital IP strategy. This is likely to be substantially different from a traditional IP strategy: it needs to consider the different types of IP, including software and data, as well as the firm's approach to in- and out-licensing, and involve a portfolio approach in which multiple IP assets complement one another.


Digital marketing can be highly effective, but is it worth the risk of intellectual property theft? Make sure your online marketing efforts are not plagiarized if you want them to be successful. Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are invaluable when they're properly respected. When not, they can ruin a business quickly and drive it to success. Choose to protect your ideas; there's no reason to ignore them.

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