Secure the ideas and creations that make your business stand out from the competition.
Ideas are a dime-a-dozen. But good ideas? Those are a little harder to come by. As a result, when a good one hits the market, idea thieves tend to get a bit hungry. Remember those “mine, mine, mine” seagulls in Finding Nemo? Yeah, that’s them.
This is why business owners like you need to build your shield. We’re not saying you need to hide your snacks. But you’ll need to securely protect them. With iron clamps, some “do not touch” stickers, and, of course, some carefully worded and executed legal documents.
You know that dope idea you thought of while snacking on some Pringles and binging that new show? Intellectual property. That framework you built to help people solve a problem? Intellectual property. That ebook you wrote to share some of your knowledge? Intellectual property. That rap you made up yesterday in the car while waiting in traffic? Yup, intellectual property.
Intellectual property (IP) is any original work or creation that is solely the result of your genius. It’s the secret sauce that makes customers know that you’re the one they need to work with because there’s nothing else like it on the market.
It’s the part where you’re in your zone and creating things all from your unique expertise.
Which is nice and all until somebody decides they like what you created a little too much and decide to use it in their course. Or post it on their social media without giving you credit. Then, instead of your IP signaling possibilities, it starts signaling a loss of income.
Enter Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). These exclusive rights are meant to keep things fun by protecting your ideas from idea thieves. By registering your IP with things like trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets or confidential information (to name a few), you’ll be able to attain legal rights that keep your ideas protected and your business’s future secure.
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Navigating the landscape of intellectual property rights can feel overwhelming. Perhaps you’re unsure what ideas need protection, how to file them, or even how to tackle the enforcement of intellectual property once it's been filed.
The good news is that you’re not in this alone. Right now, you’ve got a competitive advantage, and we want to help you keep it that way. As a firm with a personal commitment to helping small business owners feel seen, supported, and empowered when making or selling their secret sauce, we’re here to help you get it done.
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But I created it first!
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HOW DO I PROVE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT?
What ip rights (or assets) do i need to protect?
Essentially, it’s anything that your brain cooks up, whether you intend to use it for profit or not.
It could be as simple as a secret recipe you don’t even share with your partner. We don’t judge. Or it could be something a little more serious, like the mechanics of new technologies or a method you use to solve a problem.
Okay, I see you. You went from asking good questions to great ones!
While intellectual property signifies the originality of your creations, intellectual property rights or intellectual property law is what protects those creations. It bars others from copying, revising, or utilizing your intellectual property in any way.
By registering trademarks, patents, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights for IP protection, you put the government on alert. You give them the heads up that you’ve created a bomb idea, and if push comes to shove, they’ll need to back you up on it. ‘Cuz no one should be allowed to play with your money!
Great question! There’s a common misconception amongst business owners that because copyright law gives you automatic copyright protection, there isn’t a need to register their work.
But that’s pretty far from the truth. Yes, it’s automatic, but it also becomes highly contestable if there is ever a need to bring it to court. There are millions of people all over the world in the kitchen right now trying to create the secret sauce. Chances are some of them might come close to what you have or get so frustrated they just decide to steal what you have. And if they do, what’s to stop them from saying YOU stole their idea or that they had the idea first?
Spoiler: nothing. And if they file for the rights of “their” IP and accuse you of copyright infringement, not only do you have some legal bills to pay, but your secret sauce is also gone. So let’s set the record straight from the jump, yeah?
While America can sometimes be A LOT of things, one thing we can say is that it understands the backbone of economic growth resides in the creativity of small business owners.
This is why intellectual property is taken very seriously in the court. For the guilty party, it can result in criminal penalties, imprisonment, and even hefty fines. So when we say the government actually has your back on this…they got your back on this.
To prove intellectual property theft, however, you’ll have to build your case and present it in a court with evidence (proof). You’ll also need to show documentation of your intellectual property. Keep in mind that registered intellectual property will make for a stronger, more air-tight case rather than automatic copyrights many small business owners mistakenly depend upon.
If you think your IP rights have been stolen, it’s time to fight. Reach out here to find out how we can help; our gloves are already off.
There are many ways to protect your work. And it’s true that you may not need to register for all of them.
However, deciding what IP rights are needed is highly based upon the goals of your business and the complexities of your service, offer, or product. For example, while copyright is typically geared more towards artistic work, trademarks can help protect the notable assets in your business (think logo, slogan, etc.)
Contact us if you’re unsure of the type of intellectual property protection you and your business need. We’ll be happy to help you clear things up