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Why small businesses should protect their Intellectual Property?

There are many areas that need careful and thorough attention by small businesses, especially in today's global economy. From financial information to employment issues to real estate matters - business owners can find their hands quite full.

When businesses are creating a brand or developing products, they may want to also consider protecting their Intellectual Property rights. This includes trademarks for brand names, colors and logos, copyright for original works of authorship and patents for unique products and ideas.

Copyright piracy, Trademark counterfeiting and Patent infringements are rampant problems in the business world. Smaller entities need to take greater measures to protect their Intellectual Property, since they lack the resources, knowledge and resources to fight back against theft.

In order to protect your business against IP theft you first need to protect your intellectual property. This can be achieved by closely examining your business inventory and determining your need for U.S. and international IP protection. You can start by taking the following steps:

  • Inventory your IP - Is any of your business collateral is eligible for Trademark, Copyright, Patent or Trade Secret status?
  • Determine where you need protection - Will you need international protection or are you only doing business in the United States? If you are going to foreign markets, do any of them have signed patent or trademark agreements with the U.S.?
  • Perform a cost-benefit analysis - Do IP protection measures make sense for your business and budget? If so, what is most appropriate?
  • Consider hiring an attorney - Are the IP issues for your business more complex? Or do you just feel you can benefit from legal advice and guidance? An experienced IP lawyer can help.

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