How To Protect Your Business’ Intellectual Property

    How To Protect Your Business’ Intellectual Property

    You are starting a business. Here’s the legal steps your intellectual property IP attorney will guide you through.

    1. Make sure you have something to sell or Do you have a product or a service? Products – If you have a product, is that product protectable? Ideas are protectable with Patents, Trade Secret contracts protect those things that are not discernible through examination and Copyrights protect writings. Decide if someone looking at your product could figure out how to replicate the idea themselves.  If someone could then look at getting a patent.  If someone could not then consider a trade secret regime. Patents are looked at first as you must file patentable ideas before making them public.  Further it is now a race to the patent office as first to file is first in right. If you believe your product is new and innovative in any way then you need to start with a patent search. If the patent search is positive (re your idea might be patentable) then you need to file a patent application.

    2. SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM THE CROWD or Do you have a name for your product or service. Even if your idea is not new and innovative or you have a service, you are still going to need to identify yourself.  You want a mark that can obtain secondary meaning. You can use this name as your company name as well. Do a trademark search to make sure that (a) you don’t step on someone else’s toes and get sued and (b) you can stop others from using your mark and put them on notice of your use. Once the search comes back positive then you need to file a trademark application and from a marketing point of view it is a good idea to check if the domain name is available.

    3. REGISTER THE WORK YOU DO AND PUT THE WORLD ON NOTICE or register your Copyrights – Yes, we can help you with these filings. Filing for a copyright gives you lots of rights including, if registered within three months after publica­tion of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. The burden will also be on the other side to prove that you do not own the work.

    4.Setup your corporation and use the mark you just registered. We can walk you through the corporate form that will fit your goals the best whether it is an LLC, a C corp, a sole proprietorship or maybe a foreign Ltd. A corporation can shield you from liability and is often required in order to obtain investment.  We can help you with the investment process as well.

    5. POLICE YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY  In the civil world you’re the cop and have to file suit (litigation) to stop other from using your intellectual property. Greenberg & Lieberman has litigated numerous issues surrounding intellectual property.  If you have an issue please give us a call.

    CALL US AT 888-275-2757 or chat now for a free consultation.

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