The world of startups and entrepreneurs is extremely dynamic, with a strong focus on new technologies. After all, this is the sector that gave us the big tech giants we know and love today.
Companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, and even Facebook, started with an idea and several passionate people willing to give it all to create a cool and interesting product. But it’s not easy. According to statistics, around 90% of new startups fail and only 50% make it to the 5-year mark.
Besides a tight budget, startups face numerous issues until they find their footing. And even then, unexpected problems like intellectual property infringement might pop up and ruin your day.
To make sure you won’t have to put out any extra fires, here are a few tips to follow in order to avoid receiving a cease and desist order.
Intellectual property laws and regulations are different from one country to another, and in the US, they differ from state to state. As a result, it is difficult to keep track of this aspect while trying to start a business and create a new concept.
To make sure you’re not stepping on any toes and you’re not doing anything wrong when discussing ideas and planning various actions, it’s best to engage qualified counsel from an IP attorney. The good news is that it won’t put a hole in your budget (consultations are not terribly expensive) and it will protect you from any fines or other forms of punishment from the accredited authorities.
Furthermore, an IP attorney can help clear things out between co-founders (hammering down terms on percentage ownership, responsibilities, ownership of new ideas, and more) by drafting a customized agreement from the start.
Build An IP Strategy
Oftentimes, in the race against competition and gathering customers, it’s easy to forgo standard IP practices.
For instance, you will have to take specific steps, as a commercial entity, in order to make sure your IP capital is protected. Furthermore, in the US, you may have to take both technical and physical measures to protect your ideas. Also, it’s important to understand the extent of a specific patent, especially if you’re an international organization (US-based businesses can trump foreign patent rights in specific situations).
The solution is to proactively implement standard IP practices from the start. Also, make sure everyone involved in the creation process is up to date with these practices and that they follow them up as agreed.
Learn From Top Brands
The big guys are at the top because they did things right. Sure, they stumbled here and there, but this can only be helpful for the small guys coming behind.
If you take a closer look at their activity, you’ll notice they have a strategy for everything. From digital marketing strategies to how to act in case someone accuses them of copyright infringement, there is a plan in place. As a result, even if they don’t play by the rules all the time, they are protected from any big, costly mistakes.
So, don’t just go charging ahead hoping all the pieces will fall into place one way or another. As a startup, it’s crucial that you think and analyze each step!