For all of us, 2020 has been a unique year with many putting their lives ‘on hold’ throughout the UK’s first lockdown. During this period of self-reflection, it’s no surprise that many decided to turn their lockdown hobby, or their long-considered ideas, into a new business, as they finally had the time to make it a reality, but have you considered your IP?
Starting a new business brings a lot of excitement but because it can be done quite quickly, it can sometimes mean that legal formalities, like protecting your Intellectual Property (IP) can be overlooked, which can leave you and your newly formed business at risk
We have put together a few tips to consider for people who have recently set up a new business in lockdown.
What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual Property (IP) is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of legal rights that attach to certain types of ideas or information.
In order to protect what your business creates, increase your competitive position, and avoid infringing the IP rights of other businesses, there are a few things you should consider:
- Register your trade name– Ensure that you have protected your brand by registering your trading name as a trademark. This can be anything from your brand name, logo, product names, or packaging. By registering it you can distinguish and protect your products or services.
- Domain name registration– Register your domain name and the domain name relating to all potential web addresses you would like to be associated with your business to stay one step ahead of cyber squatters. For example .com, .net, .org etc.
- IP ownership– Ensure that your company is the owner of IP used by your business and that your company is the registered proprietor of any of its registered IP.
- Contract dealing with IP- Ensure that any contract dealing with your IP whether with customers, suppliers, contractors or employees, is carefully reviewed prior to signing.
Sometimes it may be necessary for you to prevent other businesses from trying to emulate your business, copy your trademarks, or pass themselves off as your business.