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Why Intellectual Property is Critical for Startups

By: Ken Smith

September 25, 2019

Cleveland, Ohip

Any new business owner or startup entrepreneur is aware of the challenges that come with starting a new venture. While new companies are busy focusing on the tangible aspects of their business such as product development, employees, raising capital, etc., one area that too often goes ignored is protection of a new business’s intangible assets: its intellectual property.

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Intellectual property, which includes things like brands, logos, information, and technology, is a critical asset to any business. As a company grows, so too does the power of its name. And the best time for a business to take control of its IP is right at the start.

Most new entrepreneurs understand they can’t, for example, produce a new device and call it an iPhone without getting some serious blowback. Yet the benefits to securing rights in a business’s intangible assets don’t just include preventing others from utilizing your company’s name. Control of intellectual property helps to build brand awareness and garner loyalty from customers and consumers. Protecting IP also grants a competitive edge, working to shield a company’s innovations from competitors.

Moreover, any company with aspirations of entering new markets – foreign or domestic -  simply needs to have its intellectual property secured. Otherwise, your brand, product, or idea is susceptible to imitation, or worse: being stolen and profiteered by out-of-market opportunists. It’s no wonder that businesses that protect their intellectual property have generally higher valuations when they are assessed.

Partnering with an intellectual property attorney not only helps a startup or small business navigate through the initial filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but also can help build an IP strategy centered around unique market-specific concerns. Understanding competitors’ IP is yet another way to build a brand or product in a particular market space.

In the rush to get a business or product out to market, intellectual property is too often overlooked by those that need to defend it most. If you are a small business, startup, or entrepreneur looking to grow and protect your brand, please contact the intellectual property lawyers at Mansour Gavin to discuss how we can help you secure your intellectual property today.

LNA members are not affiliated in the joint practice of law; each member firm is an independent law firm and renders professional services on an individual and separate basis.