Businesses of all sizes, especially small businesses or startups starting out, need protection. Protection from what exactly?
In this day and age, businesses need to be protected from disgruntled employees, corporate espionage, patent trolls, and other dangers that could impact your company’s success.
This is where intellectual property lawyers come in – hiring an intellectual property law firm to provide your company with legal advice will benefit your business in a number of years.
What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property (IP) refers to any creation of the mind – this can be symbols, visuals, names, literary works, and more.
But how does this relate to businesses? Especially if your company isn’t in the design or creative realm.
Your company’s business idea is considered intellectual property - if you are an inventor of a new social media app that isn’t like anything else in the market, that is a creative work.
Intellectual property is protected by law – trademarks, patents, and copyright are all factors because it enables the inventor to earn benefit from their creation.
Intellectual Property: Terms to Know
- Copyright: Legal term used to describe the rights an inventor has over their work
- Trade secrets: Intellectual property rights on confidential information that can be licensed or sold
- Patents: A right granted for an invention. Creators must submit a patent application to protect their idea from others.
- Copyright infringement: This occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced or distributed without the permission of the owner.
- Trademark: A sign that distinguishes a product, phrase, or service as part of a company’s ownership.
- Due diligence: The process of assessing the quality of assets that are licensed under a party’s name.
What is Intellectual Property Law?
Intellectual property law includes all areas related to protecting products of the mind.
Intellectual property lawyers are involved with counseling, protecting, and enforcing companies on how to proceed when dealing with copyright protection, infringement cases, trademark registration, and more. An IP lawyer performs their due diligence in order to protect companies.
Now the question is – should your company hire an intellectual property attorney or firm for their legal services? The answer likely won’t surprise you.
Why Should Your Company Hire an IP Law Firm?
When it comes to protecting your intellectual property, you want to make sure that you hire a qualified and experienced IP law firm. An IP firm can help you understand the intricate details of copyright regulations and trademark laws, as well as advise you on how best to protect your hard-earned ideas and inventions.
Additionally, many IP firms have in-depth knowledge of worldwide patent law, making them invaluable resources for anyone looking to bring their innovations abroad.
Here are the main benefits of hiring an IP law firm to support your business:
- Protect your company’s property
- Protect your company’s income
- Protect your employees
- Protect your business’s future
1. Protect Your Company’s Property
An intellectual property law firm will protect your company’s rights and property from any threats or legal issues.
If an individual has unauthorized use of your company’s product or trademark, an IP attorney will ensure that the right legal action is taken.
IP law firms employ specialized patent lawyers that can handle your company’s patents and trademark attorneys that focus their knowledge on trademark law.
Patent attorneys can assist with drafting patent applications and provide counsel when setting up meetings with patent examiners in the right jurisdiction. Trademark lawyers can assist from a trademark and copyright perspective by getting the appropriate registrations and helping clients that meet with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).
2. Protect Your Company’s Income
With business growth, there should be an increase in income and revenue.
An intellectual property law firm will ensure that all of your aspects are protected by making sure they are in compliance with the right documentation to ensure your ideas are protected from trademark infringement and other intellectual property matters.
If your business wants to add new assets, your IP lawyer can ensure that everything is protected from the ground up. With all of your bases covered, your company will spend little to no time going through intellectual property litigation.
3. Protect Your Employees
To protect your employees from potential litigation, there are certain tasks to follow.
An IP law firm will prepare all of the correct contracts and documentation like nondisclosure agreements that will guide and protect your employees. A lot of employees likely know the “secret sauce” or trade secrets behind your company’s vision. An IP lawyer will ensure that they are adequately protected, while keeping your company’s best interests in mind.
4. Protect Your Business’s Future
Has your business been approached about purchasing your company? If you’re starting to get appealing offers in, having an IP lawyer on staff will make everything run smoothly.
IP attorneys will help determine the value of your intellectual property by setting up documentation for licensing, cost, and other factors that are important for a potential sale or transfer.
The firm will also ensure that negotiations run well, the purchase agreement is well-drafted, and that you will be properly protected against any future liability that might occur.
Despite selling your business, it is still a result of years of experience and fruitful work – you still want it to succeed even if you’re no longer involved.
Questions to Ask an IP Lawyer
If your business is looking to speak to an IP law firm, make sure you’re prepared to ask the right questions:
- What legal services can your firm provide?
- What documentation do you need from me?
- How can I protect my intellectual property rights?
- How time consuming can a lawsuit regarding patent or copyright law be?
- What are your fees and billing options?
Is it Time to Hire an Intellectual Property Law Firm?
Hiring an intellectual property law firm might be the next logical step in your company’s journey.
Before hiring an intellectual property law firm, you should consider how long they have been in business and what kind of experience they have with similar cases. Be sure to ask questions about specific experiences or projects they've handled with success in the past.
Finally, be sure to ask about their fee structure before committing to them for representation. With the right IP firm on board, you can rest assured knowing that your hard work is safe from infringement.
Browse our directory of intellectual property law firms to find the right match for your company’s legal needs.