The term Intellectual Property (IP) refers to any original ideas, designs, discoveries, and creative work that belongs exclusively to a business.
With more accessible access to resources and technicalities of business in cyberspace, it becomes an integral aspect of protecting intellectual property. If your creation is of supreme value, you should know how to safeguard access against any third party.
Moreover, if you are a startup launching an innovative business idea and seeking funding, you must determine a suitable type of IP (Intellectual Property) protection.
As in the case of privacy infringement, you may lose your business idea to competitors and, eventually, business downfall. Thus, a business owner must keep important documents safe and handy to legally protect their business.
For example, a business owner creates, experiments, and launches software with his expertise.
IP provides an exclusionary right to the respective business on the software. This way, no third party can access or claim it as theirs.
How Many Types of Intellectual Property Protection Types Are There?
However, determining the best way to protect your creations can be tasking.
There are primarily 4 types of Intellectual Property protection:
Trademarks are unique aspects or symbols that distinguish a business from its competitors.
It could be your brand logo, slogans, or brand name. You do not need to register; they do not expire even after years of use.
The copyright holder shares the exclusive rights to patent technology, creation, or invention.
Under this, one can revise the technique, display or sell the same rightfully. It is a one-time registration and is valid until 70 years.
c) Trade Secrets
A trade secret, as the name reveals, is a technique, recipe, or method that a business leverage as a competitive advantage by keeping it a secret from customers.
It does not require registration and does not have an expiry date. Instead, it protects the information until one discovers it.
If you have a unique idea, the machine, software, equipment, or chemical composition you are first to invent in your name, you can patent it.
With this right beside you, no one can re-create or claim the technique unless you grant them access. Different products share unique patent rules. The patent remains valid until 15-20 years from the registration date. Read more about air handler installation and repair services.
5 Easy Ways to Protect Your Business Intellectual Property
Every business, mainly startups, must consider it an essential aspect of the company.
Having secure protection of your intellectual assets helps you scale without worries. Here are some ways to protect your business’s intellectual property:
1) Conduct an intellectual property audit
Amid being creative, experimenting, and launching actionable ideas, entrepreneurs often forget about claiming the right to something solely theirs.
To have a clear idea of the same, one must conduct intellectual property audit. It would help you pursue your protection quickly.
For this, you must be familiar with nearly every aspect of your business:
- Who currently owns the right to the firm?
- Who discovered the unique technique?
If you are still determining the same, take the help of a senior associate to work on the same: brand, headlines, domain names, symbols, or logos. Find out how to value your assets.
2) Keep details confidential with non-disclosures
Before revealing or tapping your business’s
confidential aspects, ensure to do it under NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement).
It will help prevent the recipient from spreading the word about your company without permission.
You must do so even if you are disclosing the idea or the equipment to your investor. They must sign a non-disclosure agreement.
3) Ensure a robust security IT framework for your business
As mentioned in the beginning, the world is continuously changing from the technical aspect, and everything is easily accessible to third parties.
It would help if you implemented a tested and robust IT security framework to restrict information breaches. The Ips remain interconnected and hence put confidential business aspects at risk.
Here, a robust IT framework can help you ensure the following:
- Set up password protection for each computer and network
- Encrypt data that one shares through the company’s IT network
- Use a Virtual Private Network
- Enable Wi-Fi Protection Access 2 (WPA2)
IT Security plays a crucial part in keeping your patents or copyrights safe; hence, you must not neglect it. If you are a little low on money, you can take up a loan for a new business to legally own your breakthrough idea for a lifetime.
As mentioned earlier, startups need it more than anyone else, especially if they share reasonable company valuation with investors’ eyes on it.
You can also use the fund to invest in reliable software to safely store and distribute files by hiring an IT expert. Though it is a one-time investment, you must track the same for needed updates.
4) Implement Digital Rights Management to online content use
Businesses often find distributing user-generated and unique content as a potential form of marketing the business. However, they often overlook the fact one uses the content.
To ensure the regulated use of online content, implement Digital Rights management system.
It will help you prevent copying and unauthorized distribution. In this way, you can use and set rules regarding the usage of the content.
For example, if you are sharing a demo class, you can restrict them from recording the session. In this way, you can be stress-free about the unwanted regulation of restricted content.
5) Avoid entering into joint ownership under asset protection
Joint Ownership of the IP implies information control under 2 personalities. Here, the more individuals involved, the more hassle and threat to intellectual property.
Everyone owning the right to the patented thing can distribute, copy, distribute, or wield whatever they can do with the IP without legally discussing it with other owners. Moreover, every person has to be there at the meeting.
It becomes almost impossible for a revolving startup or an established firm. Thus, one must refrain from joining a joint partnership and retain ownership.
Intellectual Property Protection helps you safeguard your liquid assets without risking infringement. Protecting your creations from copying, getting stolen, sold, or being distributed without your permission makes good sense.
It may seem an expensive deal initially. However, the loss can be more significant if you skip it. Consult an expert for further guidance.
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