In the early stages of a business, intellectual property (IP) is often the company’s most valuable asset. However, it is necessary for owners to take the proper steps to protect their IP. The following are four types of IP you might need to protect when beginning your operations.
If you have business plans, marketing strategies, potential client lists, and other proprietary information, you should be careful how it is shared. You might want to consider having certain parties sign non-disclosure agreements before they have access to such information. You also might need to take steps to ensure you have trade secret protections for this type of information.
If your company will involve a product, you want to protect its design, which can be done by obtaining a patent (or a provisional patent to start) or by taking steps to protect it as a trade secret.
Your company name, logos, symbols, domain names, and more are all part of your brand, and you want to protect them with the proper trademarks when applicable. You also want to ensure that your brand is not infringing on any existing trademarks out there, as this can result in legal trouble.
If you have any works of authorship, including marketing materials, content on your website, software code, or anything you created for your business, you want to see if you can obtain copyright protections to ensure your ownership.
At Primum Law Group, our San Francisco startup lawyers counsel new business owners on a wide range of issues, including protecting their intellectual property. If you are launching a new enterprise and would like guidance on how to start off on the right foot, please contact us to set up an initial consultation as soon as you can.