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When To Think About Intellectual Property

Have you started your own business? Created your own design or brand? Well, then it may be time to begin thinking about protecting your brand and the viability of your product by investing in intellectual property. Your email list, logo, sales process, and even your website domain are parts of your IP. These are intangible assets that become very real when you value your business for investors, banks, and creditors.

It is important to understand that intellectual property affects everyone, whether you are a startup company or a well-established business. Unfortunately, it is common for people to copy your success and begin to sell your products under their name. To ensure this infringement does not occur, consider looking into copyright laws, patents, design rights, and trademarks as all of these are types of intellectual property protection. To learn more about, have a look at our past blogs on IP protection.

But, When?

Here at SnapDragon, we advise that you act to protect your brand as soon as possible, however, it is never too late to begin thinking about making intellectual property a priority. We recommend speaking to a lawyer about brand protection first, if you need any assistance in finding one, we can recommend one to you!

Registering your Intellectual Property (IP) is an essential step before going to market, be it on a crowdfunding site or anywhere else. Trademarks play a vital role in helping you protect your product online. Attaining your brand/product name wordmark in all the classes and territories you need is essential. When registering, remember to think about both where you want to sell and what you want to sell, not just now but also in the future.

Trademarks are relatively cheap and offer a great tool to protect your brand/products if they are copied. Neglecting them, just to reduce short term costs or speed up bringing a product to market is not an option. It allows copycats to make money off your reputation unimpeded in the future. You will regret it, trust us. We have seen the consequences of failing to register.

Keep Your Ideas

Intellectual property has the ability to help differentiate your products and services in its market and promote them to your customers. By creating trademarks, logos, or the design of your products you are essentially creating the image of your business. It is important to license your patents as this will protect yourself, your employees, and your customers. To keep your ideas, you must ensure that your name, logo, designs, inventions, and creative works are all being covered by IP. It may be a good idea to explore the different types of IP and familiarize yourself with brand protection as you may be surprised at how much of your company can be protected.

Trademarks

Trademarks allow companies to register their name, logo, phrases and even symbols as a way to protect their company or product.  This will help identify a company with their brand and help to protect their already established brand. Without doing so, competitors can impersonate a company and steal customers.

Copyright

Copyrights give its owner written or artistic protection and the exclusive right to make copies of their creative work. This could include everything from website copy and content to photographs, marketing materials, etc.

Patents

A patent protects a company’s tangible inventions, such as, machines, devices, formulas, etc. Countless companies have gone unprotected which puts their intellectual property and profit at risk.

Why You Should Care

As technology rises, the need for IP is becoming more crucial. Whether you’re a manufacturer, retailer, service provider, designer, or an inventor, technology will sooner or later impact your industry and IP will be your only defense. If you do not protect your inventions or ideas, you’ll be unable to reap the full benefits as someone else may come along and copy your creations.

Without IP, your ideas will not hold much value on their own. But with it, you can enhance your ideas into commercially successful products and services. Potentially, you can lead to additional income that can boost your business if you license your patents or copyrights. Why not improve your market shares or raise your profits by adding IP to your company? Additionally, IP will set your business apart from competitors and form an essential part of your marketing or branding. Knowing about intellectual property can help your business to thrive; however, not knowing it can lead to fines, lawsuits, and expensive litigation.

Although it may seem daunting, it is essential to invest in intellectual property protection and it is not nearly as intimidating as it may seem. If you are interested in getting help with your intellectual protection, we are more than happy to help ensure that your brand and ideas are protected, as we have personally been victims of infringement.

At SnapDragon we are passionate about helping companies of all sizes to protect their IP online. Take the first step in protecting your brand’s reputation, revenue and customers and get in touch.

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Coming from New York, Courtney is continuing her marketing and writing career with SnapDragon.