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The growth of your business is a sign of success and an indicator of a bright future. This achievement doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down and ignore the risk of leaving your success unguarded. New threats to your company are on the horizon as your consumer base grows and public exposure expands. These challenges will force your company to consider its intellectual property (IP) strategies as well as other issues you may not have considered when you just started out.
What Is Intellectual Property?
When entrepreneurs think about intellectual property, they often imagine things like a product a consumer can hold in her hands. Intellectual property encompasses a wider breadth of company assets than many realize. Original internal applications and software, improvements to a common apparatus in your industry or even production methods can be intellectual property. Designs, logos, slogans, they are all part of your company’s IP portfolio.
Why Does Intellectual Property Need Protection?
Even the most common elements of your business can give you an edge over your competitors. A color, a shape, a simple phrase, all of them can set you apart from your competitors in a chaotic marketplace. But if those competitors are somehow able to copy the successful parts of your business workings, it could spell disaster. This is why protecting what your company has created is so important.
What Intellectual Property Strategies Will Help Protect My Business?
Though ideas themselves cannot be protected by intellectual property laws, ideas you put into practice or physically expressed can be:
- Trademarks – When used to protect identifying traits of your specific business, trademarks are often invaluable. Business and product names, logos and identifying marques can fall under trademark protection. A trademark can also be used to protect an exclusive service your company provides so no one else can claim that service.
- Copyright – This federal protection can keep competitors from using your company’s creative assets against you. Photos, music, literature and even software can all be protected using a copyright.
- Trade Secret – Companies that have a unique method of producing their product or providing a service rely on secrecy to protect their market share. A competitor may be able to reverse engineer your product, but without your secret method, they won’t be able to produce a comparable item. This makes secrecy an important shield for your future business.
Why Do I Need an Attorney to Protect My Intellectual Property?
Though being aware of these strategies is key to identifying the elements of your business that need protection, awareness does not automatically equate with security. For instance, if you have a trade secret to protect, you will need legal documents such as non-disclosure agreements to ensure employees don’t leak valuable information. An experienced intellectual property lawyer who serves the needs of businesses can help you fulfill the legal processes.
To find out more, explore the services provided by Winghart Law Group, Inc. We are dedicated to providing our clients with sophisticated representation. To learn more about our services, fill out our online form or call us at (650) 332-2994.