Whether you’re barely in the beginning steps of your new venture or you have ambitious new ideas for your current business, all companies have what is called intellectual property (or IP). Your IP is what makes your business unique and acts as the driving force behind your services and sales. But what happens when that gets taken away? Read on to learn more about what aspects are classified under intellectual property and why it’s important to protect them. Once you understand what’s at stake, you can consult your local business lawyers in South Pasadena to help set you up for success.
What Counts As Intellectual Property?
So what exactly is intellectual property? Think back to all of your brainstorming sessions regarding your business. Any original thoughts and ideas that are conjured up and have the potential to be used as an asset later on can be considered intellectual property. Unique names, designs, programs, written work, and inventions are just a handful of the many things that can be claimed as IP to benefit your business in countless ways. However, failing to take necessary action in protecting your IP can cause plenty of trouble down the line that you would wish you could have prevented.
Why It’s Important to Protect Your IP
When you don’t take extra precautions in protecting your intellectual property, it can be stolen and used without your permission. The worst that can happen in this occurrence is that other people can make a profit from ideas that should belong to you, and it could draw traffic away from your own business and cause you to go bankrupt. Without the proper licensing, these thieves are likely to get away with their crimes because you will have a lack of proof of the intellectual property being yours to begin with. Nothing is worse than competing with another business and losing the battle with your own ideas being used against you. Thankfully, that’s why certain protections and licensing exist, and it also doesn’t hurt to call your trusted business lawyers in South Pasadena. There are also organizations to help stop the spread of stolen IPs by offering helpful information.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Business
You may be wondering what you can do to protect your intellectual property. That actually depends on the type of IP that you wish to protect. Depending on what your IP is classified as, there are specific protections that you can register for. To some, the choice is simple. But whenever in doubt, just consult your local business lawyers.
Trademarks are typically reserved for assets that strongly define a business such as a name, logo, or slogan. Anything that would cause an audience to recognize business elements as belonging to a specific company can be trademarked. This is perhaps one of the most important forms of protection as it’s basically protecting your business’s very own identity.
Copyright protection is reserved for assets that are more physical in nature such as artwork, documents, software, and so on. If someone is able to grab it and take it away, it can be copyrighted. Trademarks and copyrights are frequently used as interchangeable terms, but they are two completely different licenses. However, they’re similar in the fact that they work to protect your business assets.
If your business is based around a specific invention that was self-designed and completely original, you need to get a patent for your invention immediately. Until you receive a patent, your invention can be replicated and sold with little (if any) repercussions to the culprit since you had not officially claimed the idea yet. Once someone catches wind of what you’re creating, your business could be over before it even begins.
While the public eye will be able to tell which of your assets are trademarked, copyrighted, or patented, trade secrets are used for aspects of your business that aren’t openly available to the general audience. This includes anything that is used purely behind the scenes such as business strategies or production methods. Since these aspects are still essential to running your business, you should receive the proper protection in case your secrets manage to get out to a competitor.
Other Ways to Protect Your IP
If the opposing party in your legal dispute is persistent enough, you may need more than the initial trademark or copyright. The moment you start your business, it’s good practice to document everything you do in complete detail. These records can be used as proof that you’ve been working on certain ideas for a long time. There are also guides about intellectual property online to help you be more informed. But before you go rushing to the courtroom to clear up any misunderstandings, perhaps the safest action you can take is to reach out to a reliable business lawyer.
The Top Business Lawyers In South Pasadena
Regardless of whether you’re looking to set up your new business the right way or you’re already caught in a bit of a legal dispute, there are experienced business lawyers in South Pasadena who are willing to assist you! By contacting the Law Offices of Paul Yee, you can receive personal assistance in registering for a copyright or trademark along with setting up other business practices. You will always speak directly to Paul G. Yee rather than other consultants or staff members in order to ensure a complete understanding of your situation and to avoid any confusion that can occur when too many people are involved. Call 626-799-4900 to get started on protecting your business and your livelihood!