5 Things to Know about Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property is a common question among companies creating new projects, new services, or rebranding. Here are some things to keep in mind that were shared by Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti.
- There are different types of IP. A patent protects an invention, a trademark protects a source of goods/services (protects your brand) and a copywrite ensures you have the exclusive right to reproduce work (books, poems, plays, songs, films, & artwork)
- You cannot claim your trademark until you do a trademark search. This search helps prevent you from accidentally copying someone else’s trademark, opening yourself up to lawsuits.
- You do not need a prototype prior to filing a patent application unless it is needed to illustrate the functions of the invention.
- You should protect yourself with a provisional patent or non-disclosure agreement (nda). The provisional patent establishes an early filing date and only matures into an issued patent if the applicant files a regular non-provisional patent application within one year. Non-disclosure agreements ensure that your ideas will not be stolen by people you are negotiating with.
- Before pitching to potential investors, you should ensure you have true ownership of your IP. Investors will conduct a level of “due diligence,” including evaluating your IP portfolio. This often requires obtaining assignments from co-founders, employees, contractors or other collaborators who have taken part in the development of inventions, software, source code, websites and other technologies.