Intellectual property can be most aptly characterized as the property of one’s mind. Usually, this involves designs or ideas that are generated through a person’s individual thoughts and artistic methods. For a corporation, intellectual property is absolutely an essential facet of the business that oftentimes is neglected during the beginning portion of the development of a business.
Don’t be fooled! Intellectual property is definitely important and must be preserved from the onset. It may make a world of difference between success and failure.
How Do You Protect Intellectual Property
As stated above, intellectual property is usually someone’s creative and original ideas or thoughts. A few items that might qualify as intellectual property and their methods of safeguarding are:
- Copyrights are designed to protect literary and artistic works.
- Trademarks are designed to protect symbols or signs that represent brand names.
- Patents are designed to protect the inventions of new services or products.
- Industrial designs are designed to protect the artistic vision of an article.
- Geographical indications are designed to protect information about the source of a commodity.
Each of the items that are listed above is provided via a process that either an individual or a company must apply for. They can do this on their own or with the guidance of an experienced business attorney.
Why Should I Bother With Any of This?
Some businesses, especially new businesses that have very restricted finances, might question whether or not it is economically viable to bother protecting their intellectual property. Truth be told, the procedure can be costly and time-consuming. The fact is, however, there are several different features of a company that are able to be affected by unguarded intellectual property, like:
- The ideas could be stolen. Companies would be amazed at how frequently unprotected designs can simply be scooped up by anyone who is waiting to take the credit.
- The concept might already exist. If you do not go through the process for securing a trademark, patent, or copyright, you could be unwittingly trespassing on a concept that has already been conceived of, or someone could do it to you and they will have the proper paperwork!
- Investors might be reluctant. In the absence of the necessary protections, possible investors may consider a start-up business as too precarious or disorganized and could seek instead to invest in companies that have all of their Is dotted and Ts crossed.
- It makes it very hard to expand. Remove the security measures from your intellectual property and you will find it extremely hard to grow into a franchise or form an LLC.
All of this information applies to brand new startup businesses and to established, developed businesses as well. It is not too late to preserve the concepts and the ideas that are the cornerstone of your company. The longer that you let your intellectual property be available to the general public without any protections, the more you are putting at risk financially.
We know that all of this can feel a little bit overwhelming, especially if you have dragged your feet on filing a bunch of this paperwork. If you have questions concerning any aspect of intellectual property or would like to begin the process of ensuring that your concepts are protected, then please contact the business attorneys here at Leiva Law Firm (we speak English and Spanish) by calling (818) 703-1777 so that we can help you protect the backbone of your business.