Intellectual Property blunders might seem minor, but they can result in costly legal battles, lost market share, and even closure. From patents to trademarks, copyrights to trade secrets, your IP assets are the bedrock of your uniqueness in the market. Don’t let intellectual property mistakes derail your success.
1. Not conducting a comprehensive search: Failure to conduct a thorough search to identify existing patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other IP rights can lead to unintentional infringement.
2. Neglect to protect IP early: Many jurisdictions are first-to-file. Delaying filing for protection can allow someone else to claim rights over the same invention or trademark, even if you were the original creator.
3. Lack of employee agreement or IP assignment: Not having clear IP assignment clauses can result in ownership disputes over creations produced by employees or contractors.
4. Public disclosure without protection: Sharing ideas publicly before filing for IP protection may jeopardize your startup’s ability to secure patents, as some jurisdictions have strict rules about prior public disclosures.
5. Signing problematic licensing agreements: Your license agreement should align with your business goals and give you control over the use and exploitation of the IP. For example, an exclusive license agreement should compel the licensee to effectively market the technology and give you rights to terminate.