Intellectual property (IP) is one of a company’s most valuable assets. Discover how to safeguard your intellectual property.

Intellectual property (IP) is one of a company’s most valuable assets. Nevertheless, if you own a small company, safeguarding it may be difficult. There are various reasons for this, the most important of which is financial. The cost of patenting an innovation begins at $530 only for submitting and processing the patent, plus an additional $300 in early publishing costs. The cost of trademark registration has decreased, although it still starts at $275 and rises from there. Although the legal advantages of registration are obvious and unmistakable, if you are unable to pay the costs or your product cannot be patented, it is a good idea to consider alternatives.

Instead, keep your patent idea a trade secret.

Retain your patent idea as a trade secret if it covers a specific method or technique that can be kept private and cannot be reverse-engineered. Trade secrets are eternally protected as long as they remain hidden. Coca-Cola is a prime example; the beverage recipe was never patented, yet it is nonetheless protected owing to the secrecy that surrounds it. Yet none of Coca-rivals Cola’s have ever been able to replicate its distinct flavor. Keep in mind, however, that trade secrets have restrictions. Trade secrets, unlike copyrights, do not protect you if someone successfully reverse-engineers your product or independently creates the identical product or technique.

Preserve Your Brand Without Registering It

To get trademark protection, you do not need to register your trademark. When you place the TM sign after your company’s phrase, for example, you’re indicating that it’s protected by law. Of course, you can only trademark it if it is distinctive, so first do a comprehensive trademark search. Publicly publishing ideas and using the TM sign establishes some historical record of your trademark ownership, but if you ever need to defend your trademark against an infringement, it’s preferable to get it properly registered with the USPTO. After your trademark is formally registered, you may utilize the ® sign.

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