Startups face several challenges nowadays and IP protection is one of them. Especially if you aim to attract inventors and grow rapidly, you should know that investors are attracted to businesses with well-protected IP. Ensuring your IP is protected right from the beginning is the recipe for quick and healthy growth while also being better positioned compared with the competition. Intellectual property is protected by various laws – state and federal – so why not take advantage of them? Check out the below tips to make sure you are effectively protecting your IP:
Make sure to keep secret whatever could qualify as a trade secret – Information is key in a business. Avoid disclosing any potential idea or information that can be used as an advantage by others. Hiring a good attorney to draft non-disclosure agreements is highly recommended.
File patent applications – Startups are built around an idea, so protecting that idea is the best place to begin. Patents are the most costly and time-consuming form of IP, but also the most important. If you as a startup patent your inventions, the value of the business will increase significantly right from the start. Even if you have no capacity to manufacture your invention, only a patent will make sure you hold the rights to your invention and so ensure your ability to license others to produce it.
Apply for a trademark – One of the most fun but vital parts of building a business is creating your brand-. As soon as you have the logo and business name that distinguishes you from the competition, proceed to register them right away. Your business might become successful quickly, increasing the risk of infringement.
Documentation – Whatever document that might serve as proof that you have been working on a certain IP needs to be saved and stored carefully. There might be someone that challenges you over ownership of IP on day one.
Register, register, register – One of the best actions you can do when managing a startup is to get an IP audit done by a professional. Write down all of the ideas and register all of your assets by considering them as physical property.