The Traklight Blog

Explore the world of intangible assets and IP with guest blogs, business owner interviews, and more.

Use Signed Contracts and Agreements to Protect Your Company, Part 1

The early days of a business are a hectic time for any entrepreneur. Almost all of your time and energy is spent trying to get your business off the ground, often by yourself. Your worries tend towards the basics of keeping the lights on as well as figuring out how to grow. But as your business starts to develop and move beyond these early stages, you will start to run into new challenges and new areas of concern. As new opportunities present themselves, so will new risks that need to be mitigated. Taking the proper precautions to address that risk can help you feel secure in the future of your company while you continue to grow.

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Protecting Your Ideas on a Budget

The birth of a company and the idea that fuels it can come at any time. If entrepreneurs waited until the conditions were ideal to start a business, many of the brands that we've come to know and rely on may never have gotten off the ground. Often early-stage businesses are run on shoestring budgets, trying to stretch every dollar as far as it can go.

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Is Copyright Automatic?

So many people have unique creative ideas, but a lot of those ideas never come to fruition. Part of that is due to the fleeting nature of inspiration, and people simply throwing out ideas without any serious thought to trying to make more of them. But a number of people are held up from capitalizing on their ideas because they don't know how to and don't understand what rights they may or may not hold to any idea or work. Too many people fail to bring these terrific ideas to fruition, and those who do are often at a loss as to how to combat having their work misappropriated by others. Understanding the basics of intellectual property protection is the foundation for artists and creators to receive the credit and compensation they are owed.

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Students Lose IP Rights in Art and Writing Contest

Young artists are always looking for opportunities, and are often willing to make sacrifices and compromises in their search for a break. And for many, a lack of expertise can lead to mistakes that deprive them of a full share of any profits derived from their work. While some businesses are dealing in good faith with artists, there are others that are seemingly willing to take advantage of young, inexperienced creators without the power to demand a better, more equitable deal.

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Maximize Your Clients' IP Value, Part Two

Intellectual property serves as the backbone of any business, and as such, it needs to be protected and managed to increase your company’s valuation and keep your business’ future secure. Here is the second part in our series of tips on maximizing IP value for your business.

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Maximize Your Clients' IP Value, Part One

Intellectual property (IP) represents a tremendous source of value for businesses that can either go entirely wasted or prove a goldmine if properly managed. Unfortunately, too many small businesses fail to create an IP strategy to take advantage of this value. Many startups will choose to forego IP protection, believing that their scarce dollars are better spent elsewhere on areas that might seem to more directly impact growth and revenue. But this position fails to understand that intangible assets like IP are equally important to anything else within your business. Having a sound IP strategy is crucial to long-term success in any industry.

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Grumpy Cat Wins Copyright Suit, Remains Displeased

pete-nowicki-49759.jpgOur internet culture hurtles ever forward, bringing our global conversations forward while simultaneously leaving more of us beyond a certain age behind. I'm talking, of course, about memes. Internet memes have become the common language that we never knew we needed, and perhaps didn't want. Nevertheless, it is upon us, and people from around the world have singular images to serve as touchstones in communicating with others on the other side of the globe, relaying an idea through a single image that has a collectively understood context.

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Ten IP Startup Mistakes, Part One

kc-luk-188412.jpgIntellectual property (IP) is having its moment in the sun, but often not for the best of reasons. For every story heralding the importance of IP in business, there are multitudes more indirectly doing the same thing when discussing the latest lawsuits over copyright or patent infringement or co-founder feuds over who holds the right to their creations. Too many startups make early-stage mistakes regarding their IP that can at best hinder and at worst sink their burgeoning businesses, often due to nothing more than oversight or ignorance on the subject. Here are some of the top mistakes made by startups.

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Three Ways to Protect Your IP

mohammad-alizade-341348.jpgDo you know how to prevent your ideas from being stolen? If you have an idea lying around that is easily accessible, you risk losing it. It’s vital that your company take action and create an intellectual property (IP) strategy in order to be successful. Getting the necessary protection for your ideas is the most important step you can take to help ensure its future. But what types of protection can you get for these ideas?

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Spotify Faces Another Copyright Lawsuit

For music listeners, Spotify has become almost ubiquitous. The service offers users access to a vast catalog of songs on demand and at their fingertips. And fans of music and podcasts are overwhelmingly taking advantage of the easy-to-use service — a recent story puts their subscriber base at 7o million users. But if the streaming era of media has taught us anything, it is that digital rights can prove problematic in the relationship between artist and platform, and music has proven no exception.

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Avoid Haunting IP Mistakes

The holiday season offers a chance for reflection and thought, not only on months and years past, but our current positions and where we see ourselves in the near future. For business owners, the process of assessing the past, present and future is necessary for planning your next steps. But mistakes made in the past can have serious implications for the future.

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Keep Your Intellectual Property Safe

Each year, companies lose billions of dollars to intellectual property (IP) theft. Particularly, small businesses that are still in their early stage seem to be the most vulnerable. This is because small business owners are widely known for their reluctance to allocate part of their annual budget to the protection of their ideas. But protecting your IP doesn't have to be a budget-busting proposition. There are simple, reasonable steps that can be taken to keep your work safe, as well as your budget

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Learning From Failure

It is said that we learn more from our mistakes than our successes, and while that may be true, it is nevertheless painful. It can be especially painful for entrepreneurs, for whom mistakes can potentially have far more impact, especially if they are working with others. Unfortunately, there is as of yet no way to entirely avoid the occasional hiccup, but learning from the past failures of others can be instuctive in avoiding similar blunders. 

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Keep Your Business Safe This Summer

Summer is here, which means we are in the midst of one of the most dangerous times of the year. With the summer holidays comes the opportunity to relax and enjoy time with friends and family. But there is a level of responsibility that comes with the fun and festivities of the season so that everyone can enjoy themselves without fear of injury. The same can be said of businesses, not only in summer but year-round. Taking steps to make sure your company is secure is vital to allowing your business the freedom to create and innovate without having to fret over potential risks. Here are some of the most important measures you can take to keep your business protected.

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Uber Fires Top Employee Amidst Google Lawsuit

Protecting your company's trade secrets and other intellectual property is vitally important, even more so when your company is one of the largest in the world. Top businesses don't stay on top for long if they allow their ideas and methods to walk out the door to competitors. And having a former employee take those ideas to one of the most noteworthy (for good or ill) companies in the U.S. is bound to make for turmoil and legal drama. 

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Do Your Research Before You Innovate

Entrepreneurs spend a great deal of time working on ideas and concepts before they even take pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to place the idea into a tangible form. These ideas can consume you, keep you up at night and take over your weekends and spare moments, pressing you onward until you act upon the idea to make it something real.

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PayPal Sues Pandora for Trademark Infringement

In the world of trademarks, it can be tricky to navigate the sea of pre-existing ideas and logos to find something that can be uniquely yours. Some cases of trademark infringement could charitably be put down to a lack of research on the part of those infringing, although they do still bear responsibility for the oversight. But in the case of large, global brands, it's far harder to claim ignorance should your own logo be found to be too similar to theirs. 

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Supreme Court Deals Blow to Patent Trolls

Patent trolls have long been an issue in the world of intellectual property. For innovators, patent trolls represent an ever-present threat to their work, as one lawsuit could mean spending time and money they don't have on a court battle. For many observers, patent trolls are a miscarriage of the spirit of intellectual property laws, using an overly broad patent as a tool to extort money from companies rather than as a means of protecting their creations. But a recent court decision may prove a setback for future frivolous lawsuits.

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