Starting a business can be an exciting venture, and it’s understandable for many new entrepreneurs to want to rush the process so they can start making money. However, it’s important that you first take steps to protect your brand, your products and services, and any of your other intellectual property. Doing so will help your business stand out in the market and keep competitors from stealing your customers. So are you ready to launch your business? Here’s our intellectual property checklist of things you’ll need to protect your brand and creativity:
Technically, your work is yours as soon as you create it. Practically, however, your copyright is almost impossible to enforce without registration. Copyright registration can be added to a book, a work of art, webpage content, a photograph, or creative work authored by a human being. If your business is selling your creative works, this is a must. But even if not, you may need copyright registration for text on your website or social media content.
Trademark Registration For Brand Elements
Next, you’ll need trademark registration for any brand elements. Anything that makes your brand distinct should have a trademark registration. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Your business name
- Design or character specific to your brand
This keeps the competition from mimicking your brand and intentionally — or even unintentionally — confusing your audience.
Patents or Patent Pending For Any Original Inventions or Designs
Patents help to protect your inventions from being used without your consent or credited to someone else. You can apply for utility patents for the function of your inventions and design patents for any distinctive aesthetic element that does not have a utility purpose. The process of being approved for your patent can take well over a year, but even a patent application can give you a “patent pending” status, which still offers some potential protection until the patent is granted or denied.
A Plan For Trade Secrets
Does your business plan have a secret recipe or a secret formula that makes it stand out from the competition? This is the sort of thing you want to keep from getting out into the public and losing your market edge. But the more people you bring into your business, the harder it becomes to keep a secret. That’s why it’s important to make a plan to protect your trade secrets. This could include having your attorney draft a nondisclosure agreement as well as determining who needs access to your trade secrets and who doesn’t.
An Intellectual Property Attorney
Most importantly, don’t go it alone when defending your intellectual property. An intellectual property checklist is a good way to get started, but hiring an attorney to help you will provide the most value down the line. With over two decades of experience in the field of intellectual property, we know everything you need to protect your IP as it launches. We’ll take care of the registrations, applications, drafting any NDAs, and more. And if someone infringes on your IP, we can send out the cease and desist letter and take further action when needed to enforce your rights.