Guide to Protecting Your Intellectual Property Rights

intellectual property law

Intellectual property has become so lucrative that there are some individuals and companies with the sole aim of litigating on claims of IP rights protection. IP and patent lawyers like allow small companies to protect their ideas and concepts by early application of patents and copyright.

For small companies, entrepreneurs and startups, IP protection can be a big challenge later when they market their products. Experienced lawyers from explain how you can protect your intellectual property rights.

1. File early.

This becomes a placeholder while you expand on your application. You have 12 months to add and expand on the filing, while it’s still in review. It can take years before the filing becomes a patent. Filing early keeps the idea to your name.

2. Develop early.

The development becomes an independent event from the filing. If you can get to the market early, then you have the chance to corner the market or at least develop a niche. Patents take too long to be approved, and by that time, fortunes have been made and opportunities have been lost.

3. Document.

Keeping a steady stream of documentation on the patent papers, software copy, and any communication helps when the IP goes into litigation.

4. Be specific.

There are different types of patents and IP protection. Patents are either utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. There is also trademark and copyrights protection. Keeping your patent focused on the item gives you leeway when a broad variant is used as a challenge.

Intellectual property rights protection is a very powerful tool. In the past, IP has been used as a source of income for otherwise underperforming companies. Ampex, for example, was a powerful company during the 1970s and 1980s. They used their tape technology and encryption IP to sue large computer companies that sold tape backup.

Other large companies with extensive IP holdings include Polaroid and Kodak. Today’s giants, such as Apple, IBM, and Google maintain a healthy portfolio of homegrown IP protected technology.