Intellectual property is often the core of a business. In fact, it’s often more than just property or some meaningless thing. It’s often an idea that’s crucial to the business’ success. If it becomes hijacked, then it drastically affects the profits and in worst cases, survival of that business.
In today’s digital age more and more people have access to ideas. This is perhaps the best time to start a business, but don’t get too far ahead of yourself. If you do want to start a business, or already have one, you need to make sure that you understand where you stand regarding your company’s intellectual property.
The term intellectual property actually encompasses a diverse range of things. It could be an idea for an invention, new technology, or new design – basically anything that can end up making your business money. This is why you need to make sure it’s protected, legally and guarantee that you have the rights over it.
Every business owner needs to take this seriously because the future growth and success of their business can hinge on this. Not to mention that you could find yourself experiencing some major legal headaches.
Getting A Patent
These are especially relevant in the technology world where new things are often being invented. If your company invents new products or processes that improve upon existing ones then you should consider getting a patent for them. This will protect anything your company invents that could potentially result in profit and growth for your business.
If you don’t get a patent on any company inventions then you run the risk of them being stolen and used by other companies. The worst thing is that your competition will be free to use your intellectual property for a profit. If you get a patent on your inventions you prevent this from happening.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, you need to get your inventions patented. You should also make sure your employees sign agreements so that the inventions they work on belong to the business.
Without this, you don’t have a legal leg to stand on if another company steals your inventions or if workers claim them as their own.
Obtaining A Copyright
Are you in the business of publishing original works of art like music, books, movies, software, and more?
All of these things can and need to be protected with watertight copyright documents. That’s if you really want to keep legal ownership and rights over them. Copyright on any such material means that you have the ownership and distribution rights of that material. You can sell it, put your name on it and can claim it as rightfully and legally yours. And no one can stop you.
If you want to make sure that your work is copyrighted, it’s a good idea to always include the copyright symbol on anything that’s yours. This also includes things like websites and blog content too. You want to make sure that there is a copyright symbol in the footer of your website.
Same deal if you create and self-publish your own educational guides, case studies, reports, eBooks, video training series’, and more. Last but not least, if you really want to make sure that you’re covered legally in this area then file for copyright protection.
If you want to create your own product, you’re going to want to make sure that you trademark it. A trademark over a product you sell means that no one else can sell it, which is useful if you sell a product that’s crucial to the success of your brand.
If your product offers you a competitive advantage, there’s a fair chance you can trademark it. If you create a product with a name that’s obviously identifiable to your business, it gives you certain rights to keep using it. However, to legally protect this and give you the legal rights and enforcement of this, you need to get a trademark for it.
There’s no other way around this. We have seen the kind of disaster situation that can occur when you don’t take proper measures to legally protect intellectual property and trademark it.
Taking steps to legally protect your intellectual property is of vital importance to your business. It’s crucial to the success, growth, and profitability of your company. Consider what your business needs: a patent, copyright, or trademark. Perhaps it needs a combination of the three.
Either way, it’s important you take action and make sure that you’re protected legally. If you’re unsure about what to do then speak to one of our legal experts. It’s better to be sure and know where you stand than be left in the dark without a legal leg to stand on.