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Startups Must Protect Their Intellectual Property: Here’s How and Why

A great idea and its seamless execution are what make a business successful. All great ideas are worth protecting. Intellectual property refers to the products or creations of the intellect. To foster innovation, you must protect your intellectual property.

Intellectual property (IP) rights allow you to enjoy the full benefits of your inventions. You can exploit your IP for-profit and exclude others from using it. Contrary to what most people may think, IP rights are not just limited to the media. There are different aspects of intellectual property that apply to businesses including startups.

Why Startups Must Protect Their Intellectual Property?

Many startups believe in the notion that ‘ideas are a dime a dozen, only implementation matters. Having a laissez-faire mindset toward intellectual property protection is not good for your business. Not protecting a startup’s intellectual property can severely damage its growth.

Tech giants like Google and Apple spend billions to protect their IP. The most valuable asset of a tech startup is its intellectual property. The offerings it brings to the market will help it capture market share and make a profit, however, neither the market share nor the profit will give it a competitive edge.

For long-term profitability and survival, a company must be able to prevent its competitors from stealing its ideas, inventions, and designs. IP protection can help your businesses generate more revenue through licensing and commercialization of protected services and products. Registered and protected IP assets can increase the market value of your business in case of a merger or acquisition.

Though ideas have little to no value on their own, IP protection can help you convert ideas into profit-making products and services. By licensing your patents or copyright, you can generate a steady stream of royalties and extra revenue to add to your company’s bottom line. Intellectual property is also important for brand image.

Logos, trademarks, and product designs help differentiate your products and services from those of your competitors. Gambling sites like betFIRST Sport also register trademarks to protect their IP against unauthorized use.

How Startups Can Protect Their Intellectual Property Rights?

Before you learn how to protect your startup’s IP, you must make sure whether you actually own it. If you developed your startup’s IP while working for another company, you must go through the contract you signed with your former employer to make sure they have no grounds for claiming your intellectual property.

Once you are sure that you own the intellectual property, hire an IP attorney who’ll handle the entire process for you. The attorney will also formulate a strategy to help you avoid mistakes that can lead to serious legal and financial repercussions.

Start by making a list of every proprietary idea whose ownership belongs to your startup, including new product ideas, slogans, logos, potential product names, business concepts or inventions, business processes, and licensing agreements.

Your attorney will help you determine if any ideas qualify for potential trademark, copyright, or patent and file the registrations. If you fear your ideas being used in other countries, you can also ask your IP attorney to file for an international patent.

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