When you start a business, you have myriad responsibilities to manage. You need to take charge of all the basics to get your company up and running: developing a business plan, registering your company, purchasing property, hiring staff and marketing your services.
In addition, you also need to take steps to protect your company from intellectual property (IP) infringement. This task may seem overwhelmingly complex or less urgent than the others. However, managing your IP assets from the start is critical for your company’s security and success.
What types of IP affect businesses?
Patents, copyrights and trademarks are common types of IP assets. Trade secrets and contract rights also fall under this category. Not all of these assets will necessarily apply to your business. Your IP attorney can help you figure out which types of IP protection make the most sense for your company and your budget—and how to integrate them together.
How to protect your company
As a business owner, you want to make sure that your IP assets are protected from unlawful use in the marketplace. Equally importantly, you also want to make sure you avoid infringement of someone else’s IP assets—which can result in a costly lawsuit.
Your IP attorney can work with you to create a robust IP strategy that supports your business plan—and revise it as your business plan develops over time. This strategy will lay out plans to avoid infringement of others’ IP assets while also ensuring that your IP assets are properly created, protected and used.
While intellectual property may not be the most glamorous part of starting a new business, it is a critical, foundational element that—if weakly developed—can make your entire company crumble. Creating a robust IP strategy is imperative for protecting your business from unnecessary harm.