Starting a business can be an exciting prospect. However, there are a number of different factors to consider when starting your own company with a unique idea. One of the more overlooked areas is intellectual property and the disputes that can come with it.
Dealing with intellectual property disputes can be costly and energy-consuming, and they do run the risk of damaging your startup’s reputation before it has even gotten off the ground.
Why is Intellectual Property a Critical Matter for Founders of Startups?
When entering competitive markets, having a unique selling point can be the difference between the success and failure of a business. By ensuring that your intellectual property is protected you are investing in the longevity and success of your business.
Protecting your intellectual property is not just registered trademarks and logos, it is also searching to make sure that no one else is doing something similar. Often, you will find that there are others out there undertaking similar work.
Different Types of Disputes
Disputes about intellectual property often occur when two or more parties disagree about the ownership of assets. This usually results in expensive and complex legal battles.
If you are in the technology industry, patents are essential for protecting your designs. Disagreements occur through infringement or ownership questions. Usually, a different company has created a product that has already been patented or is using a similar product which is confusing customers and other businesses.
Trademarks and copyrighting can create similar issues as patents when it comes to using an already trademarked brand, copyrighted material without authorisation, or incredibly similar materials.
How To Mitigate These Challenges
There are several different ways to mitigate intellectual property challenges. The first is to get an expert team of lawyers to support you in all things surrounding starting a business. They will be able to help you troubleshoot as you go as well as put plans in place to protect your business.
Before you think about anything else, make sure your intellectual property is protected according to the Intellectual Property Act. Ensuring they are registered properly means you can easily prove that you are the owner of the trademark or patented product.
If a company persists in using your intellectual property then you can apply for an injunction against them. This will prevent the company from making any future infringements. You may also be able to seek compensation for loss of earnings and other losses that your business may have suffered. This is something that your lawyers will be able to guide you through and fight on your behalf.
The verdict of any court case may well be published in the relevant trade presses. This means that anyone in the industry will be aware of the losing company infringing on protected material.