As 2019 draws to a close, it’s a great time to review any successes and failures from the year past and take an honest look at any “cracks” in your business foundation that could potentially hold you back in 2020. One area that’s not to be overlooked is your intellectual property.
Failing to protect your intellectual property could result in missed opportunities, tarnishment of your brand, lost revenue, problems with competitors, and unexpected legal fees. To help ensure that you are operating on a solid “IP” foundation and protecting the assets of your business, we encourage you to ask yourself the following questions as part of an annual “IP Checkup.”
- Do you need to file a trademark to protect the name of your business or any brands associated with your business?
Have you filed a trademark application to protect your logo, product, brands, or taglines that are unique to your business?
Do you have a system to regularly “police” your IP to ensure that other parties are not plagiarizing your work or using content/art that is confusingly similar to yours?
Is all the intellectual property used in your business owned correctly, whether in your personal name, or in the name of your company?
- Do you have a plan to document any unique or novel inventions that you’ve come up with
- Do you conduct invention harvesting meetings to determine if you have any unique or novel inventions that might be the subject of a patent?
- Is it time to step up your contract game? Are you using solid agreements that will protect your interests and safeguard your rights when it comes to your trade secrets, employee or contractor issues, joint ventures and/or affiliate partners, non-disclosure issues or licensing agreements?
- What are you doing to protect any IP that’s not yet registered?
- Have you identified the trade secrets of your business, or things that you uniquely do to set yourself apart from your competitors? Do you have a plan to protect those trade secrets and ensure that the people who work for you do the same?
- Have you updated your copyright notices to reflect the new year? What else are you doing to stop others from plagiarizing or stealing your creative works?
- Are you keeping organized records of any licenses you use in the course of business, such as stock photo licenses in the event you are accused of infringement?
If you struggled to answer any of these questions, or you just need some help working through your intellectual property plan to ensure that nothing is missed heading into a new year, please feel free to contact our law firm at 888-666-0062 and ask to schedule an “Intellectual Property Audit” with the mention of this article.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.