By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Eureka! 4 Tips to Protect Business Innovation

Intellectual Property is the umbrella for brand names, logos, advertisements, songs, photos, software and inventions.  Those innovations are valuable business assets.  Here are a few tips to protect them.

1. Trademarks – The names, logos, slogans and hashtags that identify products and services are trademarks.  iPhone, “Think Different” and the Apple logo are all examples. 

HOLMES@LAW Tip:  Conduct a clearance search BEFORE adopting a trademark.  It’s much cheaper than defending a lawsuit, paying damages and rebranding your products and services after an infringement occurs. 

2. Domain Names – Owning a trademark doesn’t automatically afford rights in a related domain name.  For example, Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets can’t both own the www.Delta.com domain name.  When choosing a mark, run a domain name search at the same time to help coordinate your marketing strategy.

HOLMES@LAW Tip:  If the “dot com” domain name relating to your trademark isn’t available, try the website ww.NameMesh.com.  It generates dozens of different options by adding “inc” or “llc” at the end of a company name, including a hyphen between words, or getting creative with .biz, .info and other top level domain choices.

3. Copyrights – That song beat you just can’t seem to shake is protected as a copyright.  So are books, movies, photographs, paintings and even software code.  Copyrights afford legal protection for creative works.  

HOLMES@LAW Tip:  Even after paying for a creative work like a logo, photograph, product label, or a website design, you still don’t own that copyright.  Although it may be counterintuitive, it’s necessary to enter a Copyright Assignment or Work for Hire agreement to legally transfer a copyright from the “creator” to you.  

4. Trade Secrets – Customer lists, sales strategies, growth projections and even formulae are trade secrets.  In other words, the confidential information that provides your business with a competitive advantage is a trade secret.  

HOLMES@LAW Tip:  Protect trade secrets through non-disclosure agreements BEFORE sharing confidential information.  Also, include non-compete and non-solicitation terms in employment contracts to help reinforce your rights.

Our goal at HOLMES@LAW is to live our slogan – Your Business Ally™.  We provide pragmatic, result-driven legal advice at outstanding value.  Our practice areas are Business Law & Contracts, Software & Tech, Trademark & Copyright. 

Got a question? Visit our website for more helpful articles, and see our Events page for upcoming interactive seminars.  You’ll also find a Free Online Legal Health Checkup, and quality, low cost Legal Toolkits and Contract Templates.  We understand business, so we offer Affordable Hourly Rates, Flat Fees and Customized Prepaid Legal Service packages to help manage your budget.  Let’s work together to achieve your business goals!

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