Protecting your intellectual property should be an important part of any business. Getting embroiled in a war over disputed trademarks with a competitor can not only be time-consuming but costly. Establish your intellectual property well in advance and save yourself the hassle of fighting a dispute in court.
File Quickly and Correctly
Different protections cover different aspects of the product. Some are applied automatically as soon as the product is made, and others require an application. Identify the protection you need and, if it requires one, submit an application as soon as you are able to.
Anything such as a written work, music, art, or web content is immediately copyrighted. Products with a specific name or logo will need to have each of those trademarked and inventions or medicines will need a patent. Each of these processes takes a different amount of time – patents can take years to be granted – so make sure anything that is not properly protected is kept secret until it can be released.
You want to make sure your intellectual property is protected as soon as you can to prevent your competitors cashing in on your idea. If they manage to submit a trademark or patent before you do, it may be difficult for you to prove you had the idea first.
Air-tight Non-Disclosure Agreements
Before a product is released, you may still need to discuss it with a third party. To prevent this party leaving and using your ideas for themselves, you will need an air-tight non-disclosure agreement for them to sign. This document will force them to stay quiet and will protect the product until it can be covered by intellectual property protection.
Non-disclosure agreements should also be built into staff contracts, licenses, and other important business agreements. This will prevent your employees or contractors from leaving you and taking any work they have done for you to use for their own purposes.
Speak to a Professional
There are lawyers who specialise in copyright and trademark laws who may be able to give you some advice on how to correctly file for intellectual property protection. The absolute minimum advice might be free. If you wish to hire the lawyer to act as your representative during the protection process, then you will obviously need to pay their set fees.
There are also a number of free tools available both online and at various services which have an introduction to intellectual property law. If you cannot afford a lawyer’s meeting, these resources may be a good way for you to gather the information you need.
If you suspect a competitor is infringing on your intellectual property, then you need to make some careful moves before filing a lawsuit. Investigators like A2 Global Risk can establish a case quickly and confidentially so you know exactly where you stand on your claim.
It is imperative that you establish where the leak came from within your company. Make a pre-emptive strike against this theft by ensuring all your intellectual property is safeguarded by the strongest protective system you can find.