It’s never too early to consider protection of your intellectual property or to consider where things stand with your business as you start up or continue forward, grow, and mature.
It all starts with the conception of your idea and how you are going to implement it in your business. The next step is figuring out what exactly you have conceived. You may have heard this called an “IP Audit,” but really it is an overall evaluation of what you have, who owns it, and whether it is protected — or even worth protecting. Is it a patentable subject matter? Do you have a trademark, design, or know-how to be concerned about?
Following that assessment, you should develop a plan for protection based on what makes sense for your business and your resources. Consider:
- What is the core business?
- Are there business interests in seeking protections?
- How much does protection cost?
- What are your resources?
- What are the best ways to use those resources?
- What are the chances of securing the protections?
- What’s the potential for a pivot and would those protections be valuable if you go in a different direction?
- What are third parties doing and what are investors looking for?
Once you’ve weighed these and other factors that may come up, you craft a plan, and put that plan into action. Then make sure to monitor that plan, keep track of any business, product, or service developments, and reflect on how they fit in with your plan — and address any concerns along the way. It’s really an ongoing process.
The path from the conception of your idea to the protection of your intellectual property is a journey you should not take alone. Even the preliminary audit requires expert knowledge to ensure that you do not put all of your effort into a patent that may not be central to your business etc. A qualified intellectual property attorney can work with you throughout the process, from conception to potential enforcement. For more information, contact me.
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