Are you trying to grow your business? Do you have a strategy in place to protect the ideas that make your business unique?
You and your business are successful for so many reasons. You provide a unique or superior product, or efficient service to your customers, and for that reason, clients consistently come back to you. Your business premise may be simple, and you may assume that developing and protecting Intellectual Property (IP) is of no use or does not provide any additional value to the company.
Contrary to popular belief, IP is a necessity for any thriving business these days. IP encompasses a variety of business and individual protections including Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, and Trade Secrets. Regardless of the type of business, proper branding and protection of valuable ideas and proprietary information is imperative to survival and long term growth. All businesses possess some form of IP, and business owners need to be equipped with the requisite tools for protection.
Why invest in Patents?
Regarded as the most complex form of IP, obtaining a patent (referred to as patent prosecution) and defending a patent, involve a variety of analysis and due diligence from both the IP attorney and business owner.
One can receive a patent on a device or product of manufacture, a method, a design, or a composition of matter. With a patent, an inventor may exclude others from making, using, or selling their invention in that country during the life of the patent.
A patent allows you to secure a complete monopoly in regard to your business's product or service. No one individual or business may make or use your novel technique or creation, giving you a significant edge in marketing, selling, and potentially re-selling your innovation. With your patent, you can also license your technology or method and collect royalty payments when another person wants to make or use your patent.
Why invest in Trademarks?
Trademarks exemplify your brand, and allow customers and business collaborators to identify your products and services from a competitor or rival. A business name, logo, slogan, or catch-phrase should all be protected as a trademark to protect you and your business from infringement or misappropriation. Likewise, a business should be mindful and consult experts prior to creating its business name, logos, and slogans, so that they do not copy or infringe upon another's and expose themselves or the business to liability under the Lanham Act.
Why invest in Copyrights?
Copyrights protect original creative works such as web content, standard operating procedures and other proprietary logs and information, art, books, paintings, advertisements, and songs. In the internet age, most every business has a web presence, and this content should be copyright protected.
How to properly PROTECT Trade Secrets?
Trade Secrets are a great form of protecting your IP without any formal filings or disclosures to others. Decades ago, one could easy protect their proprietary information in a locked cabinet or other secure place, but with today's reliance on the internet, digitalization and cloud technologies, protection of Trade Secrets requires better security precautions so that information does not become part of the public realm.
The Implications of IP
With proper IP in place, there are no limits to growing your business. For business development, it is crucial that your IP strategy and plan mirrors your marketing and development plans for the company, and provides an avenue for funding, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, and franchising.
The Clark Firm is here to guide you through your business development and IP pursuits. If you have any questions, or would like some advice on obtaining IP protection or growing your business, don't hesitate to contact Mr. Steven Clark of the Clark Firm to schedule a consultation.