Whether you’re just launching a new startup or you have been in business for years, protecting your intellectual property (IP) is critical to the success of your business. In the age of technology and a global economy, intellectual property law has become more complex. Having experienced intellectual property lawyers analyze and advise you on how to respond to risk factors surrounding your IP can help you avoid damage to or loss of your brand or product.
Intellectual Property Risks
Intellectual property risks can come from anywhere, including:
- From within your own organization
- From local and global competitors
- From foreign and domestic government entities
- From illegal entities
These are just a few examples of how your intellectual property can be compromised. That is why it is vital to seek the counsel of an attorney who is experienced in intellectual property law to ensure your business is protected from this type of theft.
Types of Intellectual Property
A trademark is a distinctive phrase, word, symbol, logo, or design that distinguishes the products or services of one business from another. While rights in trademarks are acquired by use, registering them with the USPTO entitles you to exercise those rights. Although you can use the ™ symbol to indicate an unregistered trademark, it does not provide legal protection. After your trademark is approved by the USPTO approval, you can legally use the registered trademark symbol ®. An attorney can thoroughly research whether similar trademarks exist and also look into whether an international trademark has already been registered.
A trade secret is a confidential formula, process, or device that gives a business an advantage over its competitors. Unfortunately, trade secrets cannot be registered, but well-crafted safeguards such as nondisclosure agreements, restricted access to confidential information, non-compete agreements, and other security practices can help you protect trade secrets.
Copyrights protect original literary and dramatic works, music, art, architectural works, and computer software. Although rights to an original work are inherent as soon as you create it, registering copyright ensures that you have some legal recourse if another person or entity infringes upon your intellectual property.
How A Lawyer Can Help
While having an attorney help you register your intellectual property is important, there is much more involved in making sure it is fully protected. Contract lawyers can advise you on all types of licensing, marketing and advertising issues, franchising, and distribution. If you own a technology company, it is particularly important to make sure you have software licenses and solid service provider agreements in place.
Do you need to make sure your intellectual property is protected? Our experienced team at Carosella & Associates can help.