As your business grows and your brand becomes more recognizable, it’s important to come up with a strategy on how to best protect your intellectual property. One issue new businesses face is that budgeting for intellectual property can be expensive. However, when seen as a corporate asset or a weapon that can help you stop competitors from capitalizing on your hard work, it’s an invaluable method of growing/protecting your business. Having a comprehensive intellectual property strategy will help you achieve higher valuations for your business, and most importantly, help stop competitors from infringing on your hard work.
What does this mean? You should evaluate all the ways that your business is unique, and all the ways in which you have distinct advantages over your competitors.
For example, what sets you apart? Is it your name, logo or slogan? If so, you should file for trademarks for each name, logo, and slogan that uniquely identifies your business.
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SEE ALSO: 5 Reasons Trademarks are a Must
Further, do consumers identify your business through the shape of your products or it’s packaging? If so, you should file for a design patent. A design patent will protect the unique characteristics or ornamental features of your product.
SEE ALSO: Protecting Growth With Design Patents
On the other hand, if your business is successful because of the distinct advantage you’ve created by inventing/improving on conventional commercial standards in your field then you should consider filing a utility patent. A utility patent protects the functionality of your invention and prevents others from capitalizing the distinct competitive advantage your business has created through its innovation.
SEE ALSO: How To Find Value in Your Patent
Or, is it your musical works, literary works, or dramatic works that set your business apart? To protect these assets, you should file for copyrights. A copyright protects single works of art that may not be protectable under trademark or patent registration.
Global IP Strategy
Lastly, you should also consider protecting your intellectual property in each market in which your business operates. Just because you file in the U.S., this will not grant you protection in other markets, as you will be required to apply in each jurisdiction separately. Check your availability to file in our network of 88 filing regions here.