For some of you, this blog may simply be a review of some best practices when it comes to protecting your Intellectual Property. If this is you, and you have already taken steps to protect your intangible assets, then a palm-slappin' high-five to you!
For everyone else I say, "Prepare to be enlightened!" Not everyone realizes the importance (or ease) of identifying and protecting their IP. It would seem obvious, but I will discuss three excellent tips you should use to protect your intellectual investments.
1. Identify your Intellectual Property
Copyrights, patents, trademarks…these legal protections are great to help protect your sacred ideas. Of course your business should file for protection if you can. However, it is impossible to protect what you do not know you have. We recommend taking our ID your IP® report to help you determine the Intellectual Property you do have, and what your next steps in protecting that IP are.
2. Utilize NDA's
A second tip to protecting Intellectual Property as a business is the use of non-disclosure agreements. If working with investors, use a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to reduce any worry you might feel regarding what to share or what not to share. If sharing your ideas, have them sign a NDA so that you are still able to share ideas, brainstorm, or develop partnerships without constantly worrying about losing your Intellectual Property. For more information about NDA’s, read Traklight Founder and CEO Mary Juetten's guest blog on Growthink, “To NDA or Not to NDA?”
3. Use Social Media & Online Tools for Research
Finally, you should monitor your business on social media. Social media is helpful in finding out if something is in breach of law protection, or agreements. By monitoring new ideas, and similar fields to what your business is, you may be able to make sure your Intellectual Property is not being stolen or infringed upon. Additionally, be sure to check out our IP Cloud, a list of hand-picked resources to help educate you on all things in the IP world.
By using these three tips, you can greatly enhance your ability to protect your Intellectual Property. As a bonus, HERE are five more tips from attorney Katharina Martinka!
But if your hunger for knowledge on IP is not yet satisfied, download the Ultimate Startup Toolkit.