Keeping Your Small Business's Intellectual Assets Safe

22 September 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog

You've put a lot of work into your startup and the products and services that you offer. The time to start protecting your assets is at the very start of your business. You don't want to see a competitor come out with a product that you're still designing. Here are the areas of your business that you need to keep safe.

Partner Agreements

As your business evolves, you'll likely work with a number of other businesses. These partners will become a major part of the team you need to get products out onto the market. But these partners can also be a threat if your intellectual assets aren't protected. A lawyer specializing in negotiating and creating partner agreements will keep both you and your partners safe. Noncompete and nondisclosure agreements make sure that vital information stays within the working relationship of all partners.

Patent and Trademark Applications

Patents keep your ideas from being copied by competitors. A patent lawyer will advise you as to what products and concepts can be patented. Items must be unique and useful to be eligible for a patent. Products or processes that are an obvious solution fall into the category of common use and can't be patented. This is why it's important to get a legal specialist involved in any patent applications.

Trademarks tag symbols, words, or phrases to your company and are a part of your branding efforts. Establish your trademarks early to prevent having to change branding material because someone already has something trademarked. Lock down those phrases and images that help consumers recognize your company.

Employment Agreements

Your small business employees have access to all of your intellectual property. At times, you may use part-time or contract help. You need a human resources consultant to put together employment agreements to protect your information from being shared outside of the company.

Import and Export Licenses

When you extend your products and services globally, you'll be faced with regulations in other countries. A consultant knowledgeable in import/export laws will make sure that you're compliant with all of the regulations without disclosing too much about the business.

There are several ways that your business information can end up outside of your company and in the hands of people who want to take advantage of you. Protecting the above areas of your company will give you some confidence that your business is safe while you are growing and seeking your own niche in the market. Contact a patent lawyer, such as one from Kaufhold & Dix Patent Law, to learn more.