Is Your Small Business’ Intellectual Property Protected?

Small business owner writing in notebook

Every small business is unique. Whether you sell web design and development, women’s sport apparel, cookbooks, or wedding photography, your brand has its own original identity. But what are you doing to protect the assets you’ve worked so hard to create? How can you ensure your products, logos, designs, or even new inventions aren’t being copied by someone else? 

What is Intellectual Property Law?

Intellectual property law helps entrepreneurs, authors, inventors, and others in the creative marketplace protect their intellectual property. For example, let’s say you’ve invented a device that allows people to chill wine and other beverages in less than 2 minutes, so it’s ready to be served to guests instantly. If you fail to file for a patent for this invention, someone else could copy the idea, patent it, and sells it as their own intellectual property.

There are four types of Intellectual property that can protect you against infringement, should you discover someone is copying your brand or invention.

Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, & Trade Secrets 

Copyright: Whenever a book, song, or other creative work is created, technically, it’s already protected. However, with a copyright, your creative becomes public (NerdWallet), which makes your work more visible and may even deter others from trying to steal it.

Trademark: If you already have a brand name, logo, slogan, or other marketing collateral that distinguishes you from the competition, you’ll want to file your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Patient: As in the example above, any invention that you design and wish to sell for a profit will need a patent.

Trade Secret: A process, formula, or program that a company uses and works to keep hidden from the public (to give them a competitive advantage) is known as a trade secret.

Intellectual Property Lawyer

The process of obtaining the correct intellectual property protection can be confusing. It’s important to file everything correctly and stay informed on any changes in intellectual property law. Having an experienced small business attorney can help, especially if you discover that one of your products or trademarks is begin used by someone else. Whether or not you already have a patent or trademark in place, contact KTF Law Firm today! We’ll help you understand your rights and work alongside you to ensure your brand is always protected, so you can get back to running your small business and making it thrive in the marketplace.