Intellectual property (IP) might seem like a concern only for tech giants and multinational corporations, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Every business, from the garage start-up to the expansive enterprise, has some form of IP worth protecting. Yet, many delay this crucial step, often to their own detriment.
Here are some common reasons why businesses procrastinate on their IP protection and why doing so can be a huge mistake:
1. “The Process is Too Complicated.”
- Why this is a misconception: While the world of IP can appear daunting, navigating it with the right guidance makes the journey far more manageable. Remember, IP law is there to help protect your innovations, not stifle them.
- The risk of waiting: Delaying IP protection can lead to potential infringements, costly rebrandings, or loss of unique product aspects to competitors.
2. “It’s Only Relevant Outside of My State.”
- Why this is a misconception: The digital age has turned many small businesses into global entities, often without them even realizing it. Your online store, blog, or digital product might be attracting attention from across the world.
- The risk of waiting: Not securing IP rights in relevant regions can block expansion opportunities in the future or lead to complications if someone else secures those rights first.
3. “I Can Just Use Online Templates or Cheap Registration Sites.”
- Why this is a misconception: While online templates offer a generic overview, they can’t replace personalized advice tailored to your unique business situation.
- The risk of waiting: Relying solely on generic tools can leave gaps in your IP protection, potentially exposing you to legal challenges down the road.
4. “I Haven’t Seen Anyone Else Do It, So I Don’t Need to Either.”
- Why this is a misconception: Following the crowd, especially in the realm of IP, can lead to unforeseen risks. IP protection should be a proactive strategy, not a reactive one.
- The risk of waiting: By the time you notice others in your industry securing their IP, you might be playing catch-up, putting your business at a competitive disadvantage.
5. “I Can Wait Until My Business/Product Takes Off.”
- Why this is a misconception: IP protection isn’t just about safeguarding a successful product or brand; it’s about laying the foundation to protect your business.
- The risk of waiting: If you wait, you can lose the right to file for protection. Also, once your business gains traction, it’s on the radar. Without prior IP protection, copycats can quickly emerge, diluting your brand or replicating your product.
While the initial steps toward securing your intellectual property might feel overwhelming, the risks of procrastination far outweigh the temporary comfort of inaction. With the right guidance and a proactive mindset, IP protection can be an empowering tool for businesses of all sizes, securing their present and paving the way for a more secure future.
Don’t leave your innovations unprotected; the time to act is now. If you have questions or would like to get started mapping out a plan, click here to schedule an Initial Discovery Session online or call us at (888) 666-0062.
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.