A duty to protect intellectual property is an essential task for businesses of all sizes, but this step is critical for small businesses. Smaller businesses are more vulnerable in more ways than one, so investing in intellectual property protection helps remove some of these risks. If you are a small business owner, take some time to learn how to protect your hard work.
Beyond the Product
For any goods-based business, the brand's primary focus is typically the product. Intellectual property protection efforts should undoubtedly include a trademark for said product, but the effort should not stop here. Protecting the processes and technology used to design and produce these goods is equally important.
After all, these processes are often the defining factor that makes your product stand out from the competition. Establishing this protection generally involves filing for a trademark for the particular tools, equipment, or other devices that you utilize for production. If you need assistance determining which features to trademark, consider sitting down with an attorney who can review your business plans and other data to help you get started.
The modern-day marketplace is largely based on a global market housed on the internet. In this global market, people from all over the world can easily purchase products, even from small businesses. However, a barrier to this open market is a lack of an internet home base. Small businesses must make an effort to register and trademark their domain name.
A failure to do so means that some other company could come along and use your domain name to foster their business's success. In addition to your existing domain name, if you have any expansion ideas built into your business plan, it is helpful to also trademark these domains to ensure they are available when you are ready to take your business to the next step.
An effort to protect intellectual property is a process that business owners should begin as soon as possible. The more time passes, the more vulnerable your business will be and the greater the risk that someone else will have trademarked your information. As previously suggested, an excellent place to begin is to sit down with an attorney who can help you review your business plans to identify any areas where your business might be exposed so that you can begin the registration process and set your brand up for long-term success.
Protect your small business by seeking support from a qualified professional who can help guide you through this critical process. Reach out to a local lawyer, such as Bernard Rhee, to learn more.