Lifestyle Bloggers: How to Protect your Intellectual Property

Lifestyle blogging revolves around the idea of innovative concepts and content creation in the lines of food, fashion, and daily lifestyle. Such new content can be seen as important intellectual property assets. Registration (such as Copyright and Trademark) of these IP assets can be valuable in the long run, especially if lifestyle bloggers look at their blog as a source of income.

Lifestyle bloggers create content which is inspired and curated based on their day-to-day activities, personal interests, and experiences. They develop digital content, which they share with the public through social media platforms in an innovative manner.

Most bloggers assume that their articles, vlogs or any other content might not be worthy of intellectual property (IP) protection. However, to avoid duplication of content and to maintain the originality of the unique content, IP protection becomes essential for bloggers, especially if they see the blog as something that generates revenue.

 

The essence of Intellectual Property Law for Bloggers

Intellectual property is an intangible asset, the rights for which is conferred on original creations, inventions, creative works of the individuals. In India, Intellectual Property laws include Patents, Copyright, and Trademark laws. But for bloggers, the crucial IP areas are mostly limited to copyright and trademark, unless and until the blog owner comes up with a new invention that falls under the gamut of the patent law.

Copyright

According to the Copyright Act, ‘Copyright’ protects the original work of the owner, which is in a tangible form or expression such as art, written works or graphical works. The rights granted to copyright owner are as follows:

  • They can form scrape up work which has already been copyrighted

  • They have a right to sell their work, transfer its ownership, or can license their copyrighted work.

 

How to get copyright protection for your blog

Copyright protection is created immediately when the owner of the blog has created content and posted it on the blog platform. The content of the blog can include anything such as articles, photographs, infographics or videos. However, all these forms of content must be original. 

Once you post the content on your blog, a copyright protection automatically comes into force. You can also use the copyright symbol © (at the footer of your blog) to warn off other people from using your original content. However, you can't stop people from taking your content and using it. If your blog generates business, and you are losing business due to duplication of content, you will not be able to sue for damages until you have a registration of copyright

Through a copyright registration:

  • The owner attains legal right to sue anyone who infringes their copyright.

  • You can also ask for additional damages from the infringer

 

The owner of the blog needs to know that once an application for copyright protection is made the protection will be provided to the content which was present on the application only no new content will be protected under copyright law. 

  1. Trademarks

Trademark is a symbol, word, name, image, device, a combination of colors, or a combination thereof, that helps the brand in identifying the source of products and differentiate between them from others. It also gives the owner of the mark an exclusive right to use the mark to sell his products and services. 

For a blog, Trademark protection extends to the unique name and logo of your blog, which can be protected by a trademark registration if the registrar is satisfied that these blog components are unique.

 

More on: What Cannot be Protected Under Trademark Law

 

Trademark registration does not make sense if the blogger does not have plans to explore or expand their blogs commercially. At the end of the day, a trademark should be used as a trademark, that is, distinguish products and services in a commercial platform. For instance, blogs that are commercially expanding and using subscription models to view their content can consider registration.  

Famous blogs as a registered trademark

  • Pixiwoo (UK)

Sisters Sam and Nic Chapman registered their blog name since they had commercial expansion plans. They came up with the fashion brand called Real Technique® which is quite famous among fashion enthusiasts. 

  1. Patent

Patent registration extends to novel inventions and processes, and generic concepts like lifestyle blogs cannot be protected under the patent law. Blogger will have to keep in mind that the product or process shall have the capability of being applicable in an industrial process. So, even if the blogger comes up with an innovative product, like the Pixiwoo sisters, only the product can be patented and not the blog itself. 

 


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