Now that 2016 has arrived, many Americans are busily working to fulfill their New Year's resolutions. January is certainly a peak time for new gym memberships and diet products, but self-improvement shouldn't be limited to just physical health. The New Year is also a great time to reexamine the health and security of your business.
As just one example, consider the intellectual property associated with your business. Can you recognize what your company's IP assets are? Even if you can identify them, have you taken steps to protect these assets?
A recent article in a business journal suggests that it may be time for your business to conduct an intellectual property audit. You should first identify your company's IP assets, and then take steps to ensure that they are legally protected. Here are just a few of the many examples of intellectual property that your business may have:
- The name of your business, including unique spellings
- The logo of your business and any recognizable artwork, marketing materials and web designs
- Trade secrets held by the business, including secret recipes, customer lists, business processes and techniques
- Any technology, inventions, designs and processes unique to your business that could qualify for patent protection
- Any copyright-worthy material created by you or your employees, including product manuals, online publications, marketing materials, web designs and more
You may not realize it, but protecting your intellectual property is one of the best things you can do to safeguard the long-term profitability of your company. Copyrights, patents, trademarks and other legal protections are an important way to ensure that others cannot unfairly benefit from your hard work and innovative ideas.
In order to identify and protect your company's IP assets, please seek the help of an experienced business law attorney.