Any company worth its salt needs to protect its own intellectual property. You need every single advantage you can get in the business world, and losing it to unscrupulous competitors can spell disaster. And even if you can handle the consequences easily and swiftly, why would you let anyone make even a cent off of your hard work, while they do nothing? These, among many other factors, are reasons why you should protect your intellectual property.
Now, the article below will give present to you a short guide on how to protect your intellectual property. However, before we begin we should probably explain what intellectual property is, just in case. Namely, IP is a pretty broad term that encompasses and work or product that came about from an original thought or idea.
Apply for a trademark
You might get the best marketing strategy in place, the strongest digital marketing plan, the most efficient and professional team on your side, but all of that simply won’t matter if somebody steals your hard work. Stolen IP means somebody is siphoning off of your hard work and also ruining your good name. Namely, a less than a scrupulous competitor can pass off his or her low-quality products as being part of your own brand, holding your own logo. Or, they simply stole your software, for example, and use it to get ahead themselves.
For this reason, you should apply for a trademark as soon as possible. Once you have a clear idea, a logo, and a business name, you should contact your local government office that is in charge of trademarks. You will most likely need to fill out a registration form. However, understand that the entire bureaucratic process can vary, depending on where you are, and whether you want to go international or not.
Get some expert advice
Another part of protecting your intellectual property is not leaving everything to chance. Namely, it’s good you are reading this article and doing your research online. However, we advise you also get some advice from legal experts, as well as entrepreneurs like yourself who have gone through a similar process. Knowing a person who placed a placed a trademark on a piece of intellectual property that is similar to yours (for example, registering a piece of software) can help you get a more direct view on what you have to do.
Protect your documents
Document everything you do. The moment you obtained or created the intellectual property you want to protect, you should keep all drafts and documents in a safe place. Have drawings, descriptions, your records and your plans are squared away. Namely, these can serve as proof if anyone decides to steal your work.
If a moment ever comes where you have to get commercial litigation lawyers involved, you need to have proper evidence. All these records, notes, and plans serve as very useful and concrete proof that the intellectual property in question truly is yours.
Implement proper security measures
In order to be as close to 100% secure as you can, you should implement security measures and elements. Namely, you should tighten up security procedures, especially if you’re working on something truly important and useful.
So, here are just some things you should do. Conduct background checks and inspections for your new personnel, or people you are unsure of in general. Have all your IPS that are to be transmitted electronically and digitally. Then, be smart, and keep safes, lockers, and drawers locked. Know where the keys to these locations are at all times. Be very clear on who has access to this IP, and who doesn’t.
Furthermore, take care of your computers. Use actual strong passwords that don’t end up being cracked in less than 5 minutes. Also, install proper protective anti-malware software, and get a computer literacy course for your employees.
Get it doesn’t early
Implementing all these measures as soon as possible is vital. You never know who’s watching, and who is just might be working against you. Furthermore, a lot of this work can take ages to process. Filing a trademark, waiting for the paperwork to end up processed, all this can take several weeks to end up processed.
And there you have it folks, ways you can protect your intellectual property. Remember to keep things as secret as you can, and to prepare for some heavy-duty bureaucratic work. Register your property as soon as possible, get some advice, and try to document everything you do.
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