Virtually all companies utilize at least one form of intellectual property to secure a foothold in the marketplace. From a company’s name to its logos, its product designs to its trade secrets, intellectual property is often the key to developing a brand and setting that brand apart from competitors.
If your company has not yet crafted a comprehensive intellectual property protection strategy, it’s time to think about putting one into place. Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, failing to protect and effectively manage your company’s intellectual property can lead to liability risks and financial consequences that could harm both its brand and its bottom line.
Patents safeguard unique inventions, machines, product designs, and manufacturing processes. If your company sells novel goods or produces goods in a unique way, you likely need to patent your innovations.
Companies need to register copyrights if they engage in creating unique works of authorship. From text to music, architectural drawings to software, copyrights safeguard creative work that isn’t ordinarily branding-focused.
Trademarks protect branding efforts, such as logos, marketing phrases and company names. Registering trademarks can help your company to preserve its unique identity.
4. Non-disclosure agreements
Non-disclosure agreements are contracts – or contract terms – that prevent employees, vendors, contractors and others involved in company operations from divulging trade secrets.
Crafting a comprehensive plan
If your company does not yet have a comprehensive intellectual property protection strategy in place, it’s time to invest some of its resources into crafting one that is detail-oriented and legally enforceable. Hoping that your company’s IP rights won’t be infringed upon – and that no one accuses your company of infringing upon theirs – is not a viable strategy. By protecting your company’s IP now, you’ll be investing in the integrity, stability, and ultimate viability of your brand itself.