There is probably someone out there that knows a lot more than me on this.
But here what I know for what its worth.....
Depending on what you are trying to do reserve the rights to you could need
a copyright or a patent. The copyright will cover things such as published
material, music etc. A patent will protect an idea or concept or thing (eg.
things, process, formulas, some design etc). I haven't had anything to do
with patents, but my ex-partner is in the process of drawing up an
international patent. His advice was:
"Contact a Patent Attorney who will advise on what you need to do. Your idea
must be novel (meaning - original or an improvement on something existing).
There are international patent search sites (the IBM site is good - don't
have the URL but a search should be able to locate it). If your idea becomes
public knowledge it can become ineligible for a patent. So if you need to
discuss your idea with anyone, you can protect yourself by getting them to
sign a confidentiality agreement."
This probably isn't much help... let me know if you need any further advise
from him....Good luck.