Intellectual property (IP) is the lifeblood of any business. Yet, many entrepreneurs fail to protect it when starting out, only to realise their mistake when it’s too late.
“For many start-ups, IP is likely to be more valuable than that of physical assets. They are created using the mind and can come in the form of patents, trade secrets and company or product names. As such, protecting your IP is vital to ensure business’ longevity and to avoid any unauthorised use,” says Granville Turner, Director at company formation specialists, Turner Little.
REGISTER COPYRIGHTS, TRADEMARKS AND PATENTS
Copyrights, trademarks and patents are the most popular types of IP protection. They offer you exclusive rights to your inventions and creations, especially when it comes to commercial gains. It’s also worth noting that trademarks allow you to generate new revenue streams by licencing your brand to other companies in exchange for financial compensation.
KNOW YOUR IP ASSETS
One of the main reasons many entrepreneurs fail to protect their IP is because they do not feel they have anything worth protecting. However, your brand name alone is worth defending to save your reputation and avoid its misuse. As such, you should browse trademarking databases to ensure no other companies are using your desired name before registering it.
DO YOUR RESEARCH EARLY
Patents can take anywhere between 2 and 4 years to be granted, while trademarks can take around 6 months to register. So, you should do your patent and trademark searches in the early stages of your business development and avoid publishing your invention until you are granted exclusive rights.
However, if keeping your IP a secret prevents your business productivity, you can request that employees or potential investors sign a non-disclosure agreement before revealing your ideas.
GUARD AGAINST ONLINE IP INFRINGEMENT
The growth of the internet has made IP infringement much more common. By utilising search engines, you can check that no unauthorised third parties are using your assets without your permission.
At Turner Little, we will help you monitor your critical assets vigilantly and react quickly to potential discrepancies and threats. So, get in touch with a member of our dedicated team to find out how we can help you keep your hard-earned IP safe.