Protect Your Intellectual Property

October 11, 2012

Knowing the answers to questions like these will put you on the path to protecting your brands, copyrights, and other valuable intellectual property.

  1. Does your business model require disclosing confidential information to third parties, such as investors, suppliers, vendors or potential strategic partners?
  2. Are you introducing potential buyers and sellers of a business or other assets to each other in anticipation of a transaction?
  3. Are you involved in the purchase or sale of a business and preparing for due diligence to review the legal standing of intangible assets involved in the transaction?
  4. Do you have a novel invention or business method that may quality for patent protection?
  5. Do you have proprietary software to operate a site or systems in your company, or software which you license to others?
  6. Do you know your competitors and what they are up to in their advertising?
  7. Have you hired third parties to create content such as logos, copy, graphic design, or other artistic material? If so, do you have written agreements as to ownership ?
  8. Are your domains properly secured, particularly those which contain your trademarks?
  9. What logos, names and/or slogans have you selected to market your goods and services and which you would not want a competitor to take?
  10. Are you using your brands and trademarks properly for trademark registration purposes?
  11. Are you allowing other parties (such as distributors or affiliates) to use your IP without a written license agreement ?
  12. Does your web site contain artistic or literary content, such as scripts, training materials, articles, artwork, or photographs?
  13. Have you considered a business structure that can own your intellectual property, protecting you from personal liability and allowing for continuity of ownership?

When in doubt, contact a professional. If you’re guessing, you may not be protected.