How can I protect my intellectual property?

Glenn W. Peterson

As a business owner in California, you probably know how valuable intellectual property truly is. That’s why it’s vital to take the proper steps to prevent your lucrative ideas from falling into the hands of your competitors. Inc. offers the following tips in this case, which helps business owners safeguard their most valuable ideas.

Get up-to-date on laws

Intellectual property laws are complex. There is a difference between copywriting, trademarking, and patenting information, and it’s crucial that you understand these differences before taking steps to legally protect your ideas. Take a few days to update yourself as well as your team on the different types of intellectual property protection. You can also do an online search on existing intellectual property protections to give yourself a better understanding.

File an application ASAP

Once you understand what type of protections work for you, be sure to file immediately. If you file your application before a competitor you will have reserved your place in line, which can make all the difference when it comes to a lucrative idea. In most cases, you’ll have at least a year to complete your application, which should give you more than enough time to bring together any necessary documents.

Utilize non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)

A legally binding NDA prevents associates from taking your ideas and communicating them to others. It’s natural that you’ll need to talk about your ideas with others, especially if you’re trying to drum up funding for your enterprise. A well-crafted NDA will allow you to do that while also ensuring your retain ownership of your idea. To ensure documents are binding, it’s best to consult with an attorney.