As a new business owner, you may think that intellectual property protection is irrelevant to your early-stage startup. However, this is a common misconception. Like larger companies and corporations, your intellectual property is valuable and can be found in many aspects of your business, including branding, product design and standard operating processes.
To help you protect your business, here are some common IP mistakes that you should avoid.
Understanding IP rights
As your startup beings to build its assets, it is important to recognize and protect its intellectual property, including marketing collaterals and branding concepts.
Conducting thorough research to identify and protect intangible creations can help ensure that they are not infringed upon. Taking steps such as filing for patents or registering trademarks can help protect these assets and ensure they you retain control over these products and how – and if – other parties can use them.
When your startup employs freelance contractors or employees, it’s important to have clear agreements in place that protect confidential information and trade secrets. These agreements should address issues such as confidentiality, non-disclosure and non-compete clauses to prevent partners or employees from misusing your IP or creating outside work based on similar creations from your startup.
When it comes to protecting your products or services, it is crucial to conduct proper due diligence to ensure that you are not infringing on the intellectual property of others. This can involve conducting patent searches and other research to identify potential infringement risks. If you do not do your due diligence, you may unknowingly use creations that someone else already owns. This situation could lead to costly legal battles and damage your business reputation.
Failing to protect your business from these mistakes can expose your business to costly risks. Assessing your business’s intellectual property and agreements can help mitigate these risks and set your business up for success.