Patents ensure innovators and entrepreneurs that no one can legally “steal” your idea. So, what kind of patent do you need? Where do you begin?
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Protecting Your Business
You can protect your Intellectual Property (aka IP) in two basic ways: Patents and Trademarks. Patents (as stated above) can protect your idea, whereas Trademarks protect your identity. This includes any symbols, names, or distinctive looks that make your business unique. However, if your startup or business plans to be an international venture, you will need to file in each country you want to protect your product. Beware that this can quickly become an expensive process! We recommend seeking legal advice from an attorney for more information on filing internationally and how to do so.
Patents and Trademarks are not only important for protecting your business; they are also critical to receiving investment. Investors will often ask about your IP as part of their Due Diligence Checklist prior to investment. More often than not, protecting your IP is done in the beginning stages of business development.
NOTE: This article may discuss issues for which legal advice should be considered prior to a decision or agreement with a third party. It should be noted that the author is not an attorney, and FundingSage is not a law firm. FundingSage’s employees and affiliates do not provide legal advice. We recommend you seek the services of an attorney if legal advice is required.
Infographic edited by Rebecca Cox