Companies in California are coming up with new, innovative products and services on a daily basis. While they often search for protection with patent, trademarks or copyrights, some do not realize that the creations of the mind are also protected as intellectual property. According to the California Department of General Services, intellectual property covers things such as words, symbols, software, phrases, logos, discoveries and designs.
The Heartland Institute states that the United States comes in first when it comes to intellectual property laws in comparison to the world's 50 largest economies. The recent report states that up to $6 trillion of the country's gross domestic product and almost 45 million jobs are produced by industries that are IP intensive.
One major threat to intellectual property comes from one of the world's strongest economies: China. The Chinese policy and law allow Chinese companies to counterfeit products from the United States with little to no recourse or punishment. This leads to hundreds of billions of dollars in losses to the United States economy. Many technological advances that have been claimed by the Chinese are actually American products that were secretly obtained and sold as Chinese.
Government official and economy experts are looking for ways to strike a balance with the legal remedies available to American companies in China and the likelihood of the Chinese using counterfeit American products. They believe that this is one of the most serious problems the American economy faces when dealing with other countries. Businesses may benefit from discussing their intellectual property protection with an attorney.