Should You Protect Your Intellectual Property as a Startup?
There is so much exciting potential when founding a startup. You have to rely on a few important people who could determine whether or not you succeed, entrusting these people with your intellectual property (IP). With your IP vulnerable during these beginning stages, you must work to keep it safe from theft and unauthorized use.
Why Entrepreneurs’ Lack Intellectual Property Protection
Protecting IP costs money, and it is just another expense on top of a mountain of costs when founding a startup. Comparatively, the cost of protecting IP may be regarded as “non-essential” due to the fact that it is not legally necessary to run the business. However, if your intellectual property is used by other companies, you may lose your source of profit.
Some founders believe they don’t require protection because of the uncertain success of their idea. It is always best to trust your idea, there are many successful people who have made millions on their IP. Nobody can foresee the future, but it is still vital to protect IP as if it were any other asset. Think of the investment as insurance: even though you hope nothing will go wrong, you nonetheless insure your assets to safeguard them from the possibility of loss.
Another reason founders may not protect their IP is that the idea of someone stealing it is farfetched. Again, it is always wise to insure your assets.
Some founders may not be aware of the protections available to them. A lawyer experienced with IP will be able to clarify all legal safeguards and assist you in choosing the ones that are best for your startup.
It may be tempting to handle IP protection yourself or with resources found on the, but you will be much better off and more informed if you hire an expert to guide you through your options. This is not a scenario in which you want to cut corners. IP and the safeguarding of IP can make or break your company.