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Questions Business Owners Should Ask about Intellectual Property

Posted on in Intellectual Property

Florida trademark attorneyYou might think “intellectual property” is limited to inventions that a business has patented. But the definition is actually much broader, including such things as:

  • Your website domain name.
  • Copyrighted works of writing, art, or music.
  • Trademarked brand names and logos.
  • The trade dress of your business, which includes unique visual aspects of your website as well as products, packaging, and even building architecture.
  • Trade secrets, including proprietary processes and methods, algorithms, patterns, client lists … any information you would closely guard to keep it out of the hands of competitors.

Here are four questions every business owner should ask and answer with regard to intellectual property:

Do you know the value of your intellectual property? If you really think about the scope of your business, you probably have more intellectual property than you first thought. List your most important IP assets, and ask yourself two questions. First, do I have sufficient protections in place, given the value of this IP? Second, how much am I willing to spend to defend this IP? If a competitor should infringe on your intellectual property rights, you will want to react quickly to avoid potential losses and to collect compensation for any financial damage that may have already occurred. At the same time, you need to take a cost-effective approach to protecting your IP, considering the financial investment and future revenue at stake.

Does your business rely heavily on internet sales? You may one day find a competitor trying to steal business from you by using a very similar domain name or hijacking your domain name. If this happens, your attorney may be able to resolve the dispute through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (I-CANN). Alternatively, you may have to go to court and file a lawsuit.

Is your business or brand name protected? For businesses that operate solely in Florida, you can trademark your business or brand name through the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations. For businesses that span a broader territory, you will want to register a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In the event of any unauthorized use of your registered trademark, you would be able to file a trademark infringement lawsuit.

What trade secrets do you need to protect? Once you define the trade secrets that are most important to your business success, consider whether you have the right policies in place to protect them. Requiring employees and business partners to sign attorney-approved non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) is one way to protect trade secrets. If you believe your trade secrets have been stolen—for example, a former employee took confidential client lists or other materials—an attorney can secure an injunction to stop the use of those materials and file a claim for monetary damages.

Cyber Law Attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida

Any type of business, but especially one doing business online, can find itself in an intellectual property dispute. When that happens, you need an experienced Tampa cyber law attorney, one who has made it their full-time job to know the latest laws governing intellectual property and to understand the increasing role played by the internet and digital technology. To schedule a consultation, call Nelson Cyber Law, PLLC at 1-800-440-5536.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.bitlaw.com/trademark/index.html

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