How To Seek Royalties For Your Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is a legal term that refers to assets created by intellect. By the work of a human mind, assets such as books, music, software, computer games, logos, or videos are created and owned by the creator. The owner of the asset is entitled to payment or royalties, if another person or company uses or publishes the asset.

Royalties Owed

An original creation, such as a song, could be recorded by someone who did not write it. If the song was not sold or licensed to the recording artist or studio, the writer deserves payment every time the song is sold or performed.

Royalties Not Owed

If an intellectual property asset is created as part of normal duties working for a company, chances are that the creator is not entitled to royalties. Employees typically assign all rights to their creations to the employer as part of the employment agreement. If an employee has a dispute about ownership, an intellectual property lawyer can help.

Licensing Agreements

The creator of intellectual property can issue a license to someone who wants to use the asset. With a licensing agreement, the creator of the asset agrees to let the licensee use the asset. It is up to the licensee to keep track each time the asset is used (printed, recorded, or performed) and to pay accordingly, unless a lump sum payment was agreed to as part of the license agreement.

Tracking and Collecting Royalties

Without a license agreement, keeping track of royalties owed could be a logistical nightmare, especially when unauthorized users enter the mix. Legal rights to the asset must be proved, and that could be a lengthy and difficult process. Obtaining the services of an intellectual property lawyer is the best way to facilitate licensing as well as the tracking of royalty payments that are due.

Internet Posts

Written creations are protected by copyright law. The act of writing something guarantees that it is copyrighted. There is no formal registration or process to go through. Creators of books, plays, songs, videos, photographs, games or logos face a bigger challenge if their creation is posted anywhere on the internet. Even though something is copyrighted, access given on the internet may be interpreted to mean that it is free for the taking. Some sites consider everything posted to belong to the site owner. Before posting original creations on the internet, the creator of intellectual property should consult with an intellectual property lawyer.

Different laws regulate intellectual property depending on the type of asset it is. Copyrights, patents and trademarks are each protected from infringement but with different rules. The best way to interpret the laws and insure that a product of intellect is directing royalties to its creator is through an intellectual property lawyer.

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