You’re chomping at the bit to get your business off the ground. New York and Florida are hotbeds of entrepreneurs ready to go public with their ideas. However, did you know that incorporating your business doesn’t protect your valuable intellectual property?
What’s intellectual property?
Do you have an idea for a logo? That’s your intellectual property. Did you produce a brand story that includes sales collateral, a color palette, and a font selection? They, too, are your intellectual property. The same goes for the widgets you produce and sell.
How to protect this type of property
Personal property can be locked up or given to a bank for safekeeping. Intellectual property is different. You need to protect it with patents, registered trademarks and copyrights.
A trademark typically identifies the source or origin of your company’s products and services. It could be a word mark, a logo or a composite mark (word and logo). If someone adopts and uses a similar mark for competing goods or services, it could harm your brand identity. It could mislead customers into buying a competitor’s goods instead of yours.
A patent is a tool for protecting your inventions. Patents give you the right to prevent others from making, using or selling your patented products without your permission.
Filing applications with the Patent and Trademark Office
Some entrepreneurs try to save money by putting the plans or blueprints in an envelope and mailing it to their business address. The postmark is supposed to show when they owned this information. This is a foolish myth and old wives’ tale and simply won’t protect you.
You wouldn’t try to perform a surgical procedure on yourself. The stakes are simply too high.
Patent and trademark law are similarly too complicated to DIY. There are too many land mines for the unwary. Working with an experienced attorney who specializes in intellectual law will almost certainly help you avoid those landmines and protect your valuable intellectual property.