Protect Your Idea
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Protecting your company’s intellectual property rights is essential during all stages of your company’s growth. One of the first steps you can take to protect your company’s intellectual property rights is to have all advisors, consultants, contractors and employees of your company enter into Proprietary Information and Inventions Assignment Agreements (“PIIAs”), also known as Confidential Information and Inventions Assignment Agreements.
Selecting and protecting your “brand” should begin from the very moment a business is in the process of being formed, whether that business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or some other type of entity. It makes no difference whether the entity is a for-profit or not-for-profit organization, and the size of the entity is also irrelevant. Your “brand” is your public facing identity by which you will be known and through which your reputation will be developed. The goodwill you develop in your “brand” will be one of the most important and valuable assets you own.
The line between what is and what is not patent eligible is becoming clearer—provided you know how to interpret and apply the evolving jurisprudence governing patent-eligibility requirements. Mintz Levin does.
Mike Van Loy, an Intellectual Property Member at Mintz Levin, discusses intellectual property strategies, the latest developments in patent law, and specific IP strategies for startups.
This interview discusses the key elements of various forms of NDAs. Investors typically will not sign NDA. Is this an issue? Find out!
By Peter Snell
IP 101: This deck gives entrepreneurs the “need-to-know” information about trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets.
By Bill Geary
Due diligence helps potential investors know they are making a winning bet on your start-up. Hence, investors conduct a detailed look “under the hood” of the company and the company’s IP is at center stage.
The importance of a comprehensive trademark search for a new company name and for a new trademark cannot be overstated. It is vital that companies at all stages stay mindful of the pitfalls in naming any new product or component:
The lesson here is that surnames, unless very rare, are not always the best choice for a new trademark. Businesses are better off pushing vanity aside and creating unique trademarks that can more easily and quickly become strong and enforceable assets.
By Jen Rubin
Non-compete agreements are a common part of the business world these days. But just because you sign a non-compete agreement doesn’t mean your employer will enforce it (or try to enforce it) after you leave your current job.
The explosion of social media and changes in traditional advertising and marketing methods have changed the way products and services are recognized. Promoting non-traditional trademarks such as a color, or other unique source indicators such as sounds, scents, flavor, and product shapes, may provide a fresh method to attract and entice a wider audience.