How Startup Owners Protect Intellectual Property

If you own a company whose assets include intellectual property like copyrights, patents, or trademarks, it’s imperative to take the proper steps to safeguard that data. In the cyber age, when so many sensitive files get hacked every day by high-tech thieves, it’s worth taking the time to create a plan for safeguarding intellectual property owned by your company. Step one is knowing how and where to store ultra-sensitive and precious digitized files. Next, owners need to be aware that only a competent lawyer can offer relevant advice on establishing and maintaining legal ownership of intellectual property. That’s one reason most entrepreneurs take out small business loans to cover legal expenses when launching their companies.

Other protective tactics include knowing how to keep secrets from slipping out in everyday conversation. Some corporations have suffered significant losses because one or two upper-level directors blurted out IP secrets in casual encounters with others. One of the downsides of social media is that information spreads instantly. Tweets, comments, and other forms of communication are the worst places to discuss sensitive topics that could include a breach of IP data. Finally, get detailed advice from your lawyer about using trademarks, patents, and copyrights to shield your valuable IP from being stolen by hackers and other nefarious types. Here are some suggestions for protecting IP.

Store Sensitive Data Offline

Hackers prefer two kinds of files: those that contain financial account numbers and ones that include sensitive IP facts, figures, and information. So even if your organization’s only intellectual property consists of a list of recipes or a design for a machine part, the legal issues of cybersecurity are essential, and you should never store the files online. Instead, keep them either in hard copy format and locked in a safe deposit box at a bank, or maintain them on digital thumb drives or in cold wallets, also stored in bank safe boxes.

Borrow to Cover Legal Expenses

Legal advice for owners is an investment, even though the cost is an expense on the accounting books. Because of the complexity of the related laws, it’s critical to consult an experienced lawyer. Borrow to cover the cost of not only the legal fees but also other startup expenses, like advertising, accounting, and website design. The central point is to apply for a small business loan that works for your company’s size and industry. Work with a reputable and experienced lender. You’ll gain access to loans of different sizes and those with solid support networks, targeted coaching, and a vast array of educational resources.

Learn the Art of Conversational Discretion

It sounds simplistic, but there is a significant danger in accidentally disclosing sensitive facts and figures during casual conversations, particularly in the company of other entrepreneurs and your employees. It’s important to realize that some IP consists of simple plans, concepts, and equations. The urge to brag is common to all humans, so avoid disclosing IP information when speaking with others. Social media is one of the most dangerous outlets for spilling data and ideas that are best kept under wraps. Conversational discretion should be your overall goal when discussing business matters.