Intellectual property, or IP, issues are more commonplace than you might expect. But the consequences can be devastating for founders and companies. In this 5 Tip Friday segment, we’re going to provide information about how to navigate key IP issues in 2022:
5 Tips to Navigate Key IP Issues in 2022
Tip 1: Identify your IP.
Your first step for identifying and addressing key IP issues at your company is to define your startup’s IP. Your IP is much easier to protect when you know precisely what it is.
To do this, you should talk about your products, services, and assets with your legal counsel to identify all your IP assets. Then ensure it is documented in writing, so you can refer to and add to this list over time.
Tip 2: Gain an understanding of different IP protections.
Many founders mistakenly believe that patents are the only form of IP and IP protection – but there are many others, including:
- Trade dress.
- Trade secrets.
Tip 3: Ensure IP is properly assigned to the company.
It is important that founders (and any other IP contributors) assign their rights to the IP to the startup and agree on what they get in return for that assignment very early on. After these early stages, companies should also be careful to ensure that employees and independent contractors are assigning their rights to any IP developed to the company, too.
Tip 4: Rely on IP assignment provisions and confidentiality agreements, not handshakes and trust.
We cannot overstate the importance of ensuring that IP assignments and confidentiality agreements are in writing. Investors will be looking for these agreements to be in place before they contribute any funds. Beyond that, it’s just good practice to ensure a disgruntled founder or early employee can’t jeopardize the future of your business.
Tip 5: Rely on a practical approach to IP protection.
Founders and startups often believe filing an expensive and time-consuming claim in court against an offender is the only way to address an infringement of their IP, and they are unaware of other available more cost-effective and efficient options. Protecting your trade secrets involves a dynamic and multifaceted strategy that works in the real world.
If you need assistance with your IP, reach out. We’d love to help.
The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this website or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between CGL and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.