IP Concerns for Startups
Many new and up-and-coming companies want to share their new goods, services, or technology with the world. However, there are mistakes that startups can make that can put their intellectual property at risk. For this reason, each startup should have a carefully considered intellectual property strategy tailored to your company’s goals and industry. Startup owners have a lot on their plates already, and identifying and executing necessary IP protections may not be prioritized. This is why all startup owners can benefit from consulting with an experienced intellectual property attorney.
The following are some IP protections that startup owners may want to consider.
Trademarks – In order to succeed, startups need to get their name and brand out into the public eye to attract the right consumers. However, there is always the chance that someone else may misappropriate your company name, slogan, logo, or brand and use it for themselves. This is especially common for new companies, because misappropriating parties may not be intimidated out of using your name. The damage caused by misuse can be substantial, as consumer confusion may be more common with new startups. For this reason, you always want to ensure you properly trademark your brand.
Patents – Many startups are based on an idea for a new invention or technological improvement. However, having an idea doesn’t necessarily mean your company has the means to put it into production. Many startups shop their ideas to other companies who can bring an idea to life, but you don’t want those companies stealing your idea for themselves. You should always get a provisional patent (or a full patent when appropriate) before you begin shopping or producing your product.
Non-disclosure agreements – If you are shopping an idea, seeking to sell your startup, or looking to hire new talent, it will likely be necessary to reveal some privileged information about your products, processes, and other operations. If a deal falls through or if someone involved in the startup leaves, you don’t want to risk others exposes confidential information. You may want a lawyer to draft an enforceable non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for others to sign.
Licensing – It can be lucrative for startups to license a trademark, patent, or other intellectual property. However, the wrong licensing agreement can be costly instead of beneficial. You should discuss the possibility of a licensing agreement with a skilled IP lawyer who can help you make the decision and execute the right agreement for your situation.
No matter what type of startup you have, you should never ignore the importance of intellectual property protections. Our law firm regularly works with both startups and established companies to help them put needed protections in place to encourage success.
Find Out How Our California Intellectual Property Lawyers Can Assist Your Company
At the Jafari Law Group, we discuss IP protections with startups and help companies through every step of the process. To discuss a strong intellectual property strategy for your startup, call (949) 362-0100 or contact us online to request a free consultation.