How to Protect Your Start-Up—Even Before You Have a Brand

Originally posted 2018-09-03 5:03:11

By Diana Chan |
ID-100222704Even before you establish a brand, there are steps you can take to protect your intellectual property.

A business is recognized by its brand, and to protect the brand, businesses often federally trademark their brand. One major aspect of trademark registration is use. Do an initial research to get a sense of whether your idea for a brand name or logo is already being used with products or services similar to what you plan on selling. If there is, you might have to reconsider your brand because someone else may already have trademark rights. Although it might be discouraging, it’s much better that you know who is using the brand now rather than having to change your entire brand later because you have infringed on somebody else’s rights.

When you begin promoting and marketing your brand, you will probably go to independent contractors to create promotional materials. Contracts detailing the terms of who owns what is essential—articulating who owns what will diminish any ambiguity and risks to your brand.

Drawing in a potential investor is exciting for new owners, but make sure that you take protective measures for intellectual property. Having a non-disclosure agreement for your business ideas may prevent third parties from revealing confidential information. Non-disclosure agreement can be particularly important in the area of patents because once an inventor publicly discloses or offers for sale an invention, the inventor must file a patent application for the invention within a year after the disclosure. Non-disclosure agreements will help to prevent the possibility that your invention will be disclosed to the public before you’re ready to begin filing a patent application.

Keeping these things in mind before your start-up reaches its full potential and establishes a solid reputation can help to protect your business and your brand later down the road from major, and costly, surprises.

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