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A company's name is a major intangible asset--but even a federal trademark may not be enough to protect it. This entrepreneur, owner of a media services business, discovered the difficulty in defending his intellectual property against a competitor with deeper pockets. Although he expected to win his case, the prohibitive cost of going to trial led instead to a settlement.
Obtaining financing to commercialize intellectual property is tricky, because intangible assets may have value independently of the business built upon them. In a dot-com world where knowledge is currency, cost and revenue are no longer adequate measures of value. Inventor David Martin's business is soaring on the wings of software that factors new elements into the equation for putting a price on intellectual property.
To sell more and sell faster, study the bell curve of prospective customers to find out which ones are most likely to be early adopters. If your product improves their performance, they'll influence others to buy.
Taking reasonable steps to protect your trade secrets gives your company a stronger basis for legal action in the event of misuse. Read more to find out what safeguards and remedies are available.
Patents protect inventors and may enrich companies--but the application and registration process may be long and costly. Here are the statutory requirements, plus the basics of an effective patent protection program.
Trademark protection may help a growing company establish, maintain and expand market share. This column, first of a series of three, explains how to meet the criteria for eligible words and symbols when you choose a trademark for your product or company.
Here's how to constitute and file an application to register your trademark. This column, second in a series, also lists the benefits of getting your mark onto either the Principal or the Supplemental Register, or both.
Once your trademark is registered, you'll need an active program to protect its use and ensure compliance. Detailed guidelines, monitoring and taking action against infringers can help.
Balance sheets of many emerging companies show that their intellectual property is their most valuable asset. For that reason, owners and managers must focus their energies and resources on its development and protection.
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