How Intellectual Property Protection Can Help Your Business Thrive
It takes many assets to build and develop a business: a commercial space, equipment, personnel, capital, and so on. However, in addition to the physical elements that make up a business, there are also the intellectual properties—the brand, logo, slogan, trademarks and other intangible aspects.
The Basics of Intellectual PropertyMany business owners are under the impression that protecting intellectual property is an expensive, time consuming endeavor, and is unaffordable. For younger businesses and startups especially, intellectual property protection is probably the furthest issue on your mind. On the contrary, Intellectual Property Protection should be your top concern, and to understand why, it helps to go over four broad categories of intellectual property and why they matter.
- Patent—Protects novel inventions or utility functions of a good or service.
- Trademark—Safeguards a company’s branding, such as its logo, slogan, or design.
- Copyright—Grants exclusive right over a form of expression, such as visual art, music, published work, or software codes.
- Trade Secrets—Any process, design, commercial method, or formula that is unique to your business and plays a critical role in your competitive edge and success.
While your business may not necessarily have a need for all four categories, it is likely that at least one of them will be necessary at some point, especially as your company grows. If you want to stand out in the market and convey quality to your clients, you must prevent rivals from imitating or laying claim to the ideas, innovations, or strategies that help you succeed. Your intellectual property is as valuable as any tangible business asset.
Why Intellectual Property Protection is a PriorityYou might think your idea is too unique to be duplicated. However, each day that passes without intellectual property protection only heightens the chances that someone out there will come up with a similar creation and beat you to filing for protection. This is far likelier than before, since the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) no longer recognizes “first-to-invent” but “first-to-file”—so no matter how much proof you provide that you came up with an idea first, protection is only offered to the person who is first to file.
Isn’t Intellectual Property Protection Too Expensive?Perhaps the biggest deterrence to protecting intellectual property is the perception that it is expensive. This is a particular concern of startups or younger small businesses. However, intellectual property protection should be viewed as an investment in the future well-being and growth of your business. As small business owners, we at Jurado & Farshchian, P.L. understand the importance of intellectual property. We specialize in providing cost-effective Intellectual Property Protection that meets the unique demands and circumstances of our clients.