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Starting a business? Protect your intellectual property.

Starting a business can be a lengthy and complex process. From securing financing to leasing a building, there are multiple issues that you must address before you can begin operations and start making a profit. In the midst of everything else you must think of, you would also be smart to consider the legal protections you may need.

Protecting your intellectual property is a crucial step toward ensuring the protection of your long-term interests. This step keeps others from taking your creations and designs and using them for their own gain. You made it, and you have the right to do what it takes to keep it safe.

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property is any design, idea, process or image that you create using your own mind. This can include works of art, song lyrics, or, as it pertains to your small business, your branding design or perhaps a proprietary formula. Your intellectual property is what gives you your edge over the competition, and the loss or compromise of this type of information could be detrimental for your business.

Effectively guarding your secrets

While hiding a secret recipe in a vault or never telling anyone about your idea could be an effective way to keep your information where it belongs, it may not be enough. You may find the following steps beneficial in your effort to protect your intellectual property:

  • Apply for necessary copyrights
  • File for patents or trademarks
  • Work for IP protection outside of the United States

It can be difficult to know what protections you may need, and they will depend on the nature of your business and the type of property you have. A careful review of your business may determine what trademarks, patents and trade secret status you need for your company.

The help you need to protect your interests

As you work to launch your business, you would be wise to think not only about your short-term interests and a successful start, but also your long-term interests. Thinking about the protections you need for your intellectual property is a smart step, no matter the nature of your business or the type of property you hold.

An attorney experienced in intellectual property matters can consider your business and determine what you need to be sure that your closely held information stays where it belongs. Protecting your intellectual property is an important and beneficial move for any small business owner or someone considering starting a business.

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