Protecting your business’ intellectual property

copyrightBusinesses devote talent, money and resources to their ideas and inventions. But entrepreneurs may lose these vital assets, face legal problems, and lose money if there is infringement, theft, or exploitation of their original material. There are several ways, however,  to help protect your intellectual property.

Licensing intellectual property out to someone else is like renting out physical property. You can set the time limit, reasons for use, rules, and other standards on its use. Intellectual property may not be licensed if you lack evidence that you are the owner.


You have a copyright to any idea, story, novel, or song that you create. But you must still prove that you own it. Registering your copyrighted item with the U.S. Copyright Office grants you legal protection for your copyright.


Business owners have branding to provide market familiarity. This includes a brand name. logo, unique selling proposition or tagline.

Without trademark registration, someone may appropriate the branding and use it as their own. Registering a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office also provides legal protection.


Patents grant legal ownership of any invention you created or first discovered. These usually include technologies, processes, devices, or apparatus.

Businesses which use unique operation systems or customized apparatus should also register their patents. Otherwise, a business officer or employee may take this intellectual property for their own use or register it as their own patent.

Business and product name

You should also register your business and product names, so they are not used by someone else. Registration allows franchise expansion without consequences.

These characters will be checked against others contained in a database to assure their uniqueness. This also helps prevents the filing of a lawsuit against you.


Owning a domain name prohibits someone else from using the words or registered brand for their own domain name. After you register your business name, acquiring the best domain name reduces the possibility of paying more for the domain name.

Online companies purchase domain names in bulk that have business potential. These are intended for sale to individuals and companies who are interested in them.

Other methods

Employees often sign confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements to protect information at technology companies or in businesses with sensitive information, originally invented processes, or other intellectual property.

Creative material such as artwork and music can be registered online and set for licensing. There is also insurance for intellectual property loss.

An attorney can help you find and register the intellectual property protection that meets your business needs. Lawyers can also take legal action when your intellectual property is appropriated or misused.