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When you're just opening the doors to your small business, you're probably thinking more about dollars and cents rather whether a patent or a trademark makes more sense. But considering your intellectual property may be your business's most valuable asset, protecting those ideas, images, and creations should be at the top of your entrepreneurial to-do list.
So if you're wondering where to get started in securing your intellectual property rights, here is some of our best IP advice for new small business owners, from our archives.
The first step in IP rights protection is knowing what kind of protection you need. And that will generally depend on the kind of product involved. Your hardware, your software, and even your company name may need different legal protections.
You want an iconic mark for your business, something that will attract customers and set you apart from your competition. Just make sure it's original, and that not one else can copy it.
Trademarks can cover everything from song lyrics to catch phrases, so chances are they will cover something your small business does or says. There are multiple ways to gain the advantage of trademark protections -- make sure you know how they work.
Copyrights protect "works of art" like songs, pieces of writing, or designs. Trademarks protect words, phrases, or images that distinguish your business from others. Given the overlap between these groups, you may need double protection.
The best decision you can make when it comes to your small business's intellectual property rights is seeking the advice of an experienced IP attorney. Contact one in your area today.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.