Your business’ intellectual property (IP) such as logos and designs which you use for commercial purposes, are extremely important. You can use your IP to edge out the competition and attract new business, so it is vital you safeguard your IP from infringement to keep your business secure. Turner Little explains how to protect your business’ intellectual property.
There are a variety of ways you can protect your company’s IP. Here is a checklist of some of the most effective measures you can use to ensure that nobody gets the chance to infringe on your IP.
- Write strong contracts: You need to ensure that anyone who works for your business – from employees to consultancies, strive to protect your IP. It is essential that you state your ownership of all IP developed for your company in contracts, to limit the risk of infringement.
- Record the evidence: Keep a record of evidence during the IP development process. You could store dated and signed copies of drawings for example, when creating a company logo. You can use this evidence to illustrate your ownership of the IP, should a dispute arise.
- Corner your market: It may be a case of making sure your competition does not get the time or opportunity to infringe upon your IP. If you are launching a new product, for example, corner your market as quickly as possible, so your ownership becomes well established.
- Take legal action: If someone steals your IP, one of the best ways to protect it is to take legal action. This can be costly but it can also be effective, allowing you to claim compensation and make a statement to anyone else who is thinking of imposing on your rights.
There are also several safeguards you can take advantage of, depending on the nature of your property. If you have created an invention for example, you will need to get a patent to shield your IP and there are a lot of options here. You can conduct patent searches during the early invention development process, to ensure nobody else has the patent for it. It is also a good idea to keep inventions a secret initially, so you have time to determine whether it is worth the cost of patenting.
There are a range of other means you can adopt with patents. It can sometimes be wise to file an initial patent protection – giving you the breathing room needed to cultivate and sell your idea without the risk of infringement. After you have patented the invention properly, you could then pay renewal fees to maintain this protection for 20 years and you can also pursue this option for trademarks.
You will need to apply for a trademark, if you have developed marketing tools for your business’ brand, ranging from logos and colours, to sounds and associated phrases. If you receive a trademark for this IP, you can provide it with adequate protection, but IP law is complex and the criteria you will need to meet is strict, so it is wise to hire experts to help you navigate these waters. We have a lot of experience in this area, so Turner Little can supply you with the robust trademark services you need.
Around the world protection
As you expand your business into new markets, you will need to register for IP protections in each country you are operating in. It can be costly and time-consuming to navigate IP legal frameworks for multiple territories, but you must handle this task effectively, to ensure you can leverage your firm’s IP and create more profit. This is another area where we can help, as at Turner Little we are experts in international IP law, so with our guidance you can ensure your IP is always adequately protected.
Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.