An Intellectual Property Guide for the Church

by Paul Prins at 8:18 am

trademark_applicationWhile many churches never think twice about Intellectual property when it comes to what they use. Even fewer look at protecting their own intellectual property. For many they might see it being to expensive or not worth the time.

The reality is that it can be quite cheap, and will be worth it if problems arise later down the road.

Common Fallacies:

  1. it’s not worth the time or effort to secure intellectual property rights.
  2. Once I get a trademark, my brand is safe.
  3. Having a patent gives me the right to produce something.
  4. If I have a patent or trademark in the United States, I don’t need to worry about the rest of the world.

The first 2 points

It is these first two points I want to touch on quickly, since the last two aren’t particularly relevant for the church.

If your organization does any sort of mass mailing it is smart to at least get a trademark of your logo. This can be as cheap as a couple hundred dollars, but it will allow you recourse if someone modifies your mark to defame you. Having trade marks can help give you the necessary leverage to protect your brand and identity.

This protection is all the more important for the church since culture so closely identifies our ‘brand’ (for lack of a better word) with that of Christ.

Read the full New York Times article here.

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