Don’t Let These IP Mistakes Ruin Your Startup

IP News and Information

Every company makes mistakes along the path to success. While no one is perfect, making huge mistakes when you’re a start-up can be devastating and even fatal. One area where many companies make mistakes is with their intellectual property. Large, well-established companies can typically overcome these kinds of errors, but IP mistakes by young, growing companies can be extremely costly. Therefore, according to IPTrader president, Arlen L. Olsen, “if you’re a start-up and intellectual property is part of your business plan, then you can’t afford to make some of the most common IP mistakes that new companies make.” If you manage your IP endeavors right, it can help bring great success. If you mismanage them, your start-up could be headed to the scrap pile.

Intellectual Property Matters

First off, you need to know and understand that your intellectual property is valuable and that you need to protect it. Your patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets are a big part of your company’s identity and you need to be sure you hold those things closely. At the same time, you can also utilize those IP rights to profit and add to your company’s overall strength in your industry. So not only should you protect your IP, by litigation if necessary, but you should also look for ways to leverage your IP to your advantage as much as possible. So what kinds of mistakes do start-up companies make when it comes to their IP?

  • Your IP is important - One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to assume their intellectual property isn’t that important. The key is to secure anything that can be legally protected as soon as you can. If you wait to long it can be much harder to get your IP protected and in many cases you will not be able to protect it all if you have already gone to market. Your IP matters so protect it as soon as you can.
  • Going to fast – However, here’s a word of caution. Another common mistake that companies make is to move too quickly. This can burn you because the protection process can be slow and complicated, which means you need to have patience and get it done right the fist time. Otherwise, the process can take even longer and become even more costly.
  • Don’t wait too long – In contrast, while you don’t want to rush into IP decisions, you don’t want to wait around too long either. If you wait too long, you could lose your ability to obtain IP rights or someone else might beat you to the punch and secure the rights before you do.
  • Overlooking Research – Doing the proper research is very important in order to protect your IP from infringement. It’s also vital when developing your IP. That’s because you need to know what already exists so you don’t infringe on other’s intellectual property, and so you don’t waste valuable time and effort on developing IP that someone else has already invented.
  • Hire an expert – People love to do things themselves, but when it comes to IP you’re much better off hiring a qualified IP legal expert, aka a patent attorney. Trying to acquire and obtain IP rights without an IP attorney can be extremely difficult and frustrating. If it’s worth protecting then it’s worth using the right expert to protect it.

A Road Worth Traveling

Start-up companies make mistakes with their IP, but so does everyone else. The key is to keep those mistakes at a minimum and to avoid the most costly ones. Your IP is extremely valuable so make sure you understand the process, take your time and do your homework. Then find the right legal expert to help you complete the process. The road to IP success can be long, but it’s worth the trip if you do it right.