If you have a startup business venture, your primary focus is probably on meeting customer demands. While many pieces go into that puzzle, protecting your business’s intellectual property should be high on your priority list.
When it comes to IP, making critical missteps is easier than you may think. Fortunately, you can learn a great deal from the errors of other business owners. Here are three IP mistakes entrepreneurs regularly make.
1. Not investigating properly
Your company’s name, logo, slogan, décor and branding are vitally important in setting your venture apart from others. Still, if another business is using the same or similar IP, you may contribute to consumer confusion.
You may also expose your business to civil liability. Consequently, before deciding on your company’s brand, marks or dress, you should conduct a thorough investigation. To avoid an infringement complaint, steer clear of any IP your investigation uncovers.
2. Not registering
You likely have a significant amount of time, money and effort invested in your company’s IP. While you may have exclusive ownership of it, you also should take steps to notify others of your ownership. Registering patents, copyrights, trademarks and other registerable IP is often the most effective way to accomplish this goal.
3. Not transferring ownership rights
You may believe that paying someone to develop your company’s IP makes it yours. That may not be the case, however.
To ensure you receive full enjoyment of the IP your company pays to create, you likely want to transfer ownership rights. If you fail to do so, the creator of the IP may have better claim to it than your organization does.