How Do I Protect My Intellectual Property?

Mar 22, 2010

The invention of the Internet has done a lot of wonderful things. It has connected old friends who haven’t been in contact since their childhood. It’s created a place where parents of children with special needs can go to support each other. And it has been a life-saver for people trying to remember that lady from the TV show where she threw her hat in the air along a busy street. Business owners often use the Web as a way to expose your business to a whole new clientele.

But the Internet doesn’t always have a positive effect. Putting your intellectual property online puts you at risk for theft. Others can take your products and designs, and your other creative concepts that make your business or products unique. There are ways you can protect you and guard against intellectual property theft:

Be distinctive: Start at the beginning – with a unique company name. Give your company a clever name that explains your company’s purpose but also do some research to make sure yours is unique. Also consider a creative domain name for your business but check with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office to make sure no one else has trademarked it. Then register the domain and any forms, including misspelled versions of it, with domain registration Web sites.

Get a trademark: This is an expensive option but it is becoming more important as the Internet age wears on. A trademark can prevent others from taking your name and using it for similar businesses or products in the United States. This is especially important if you plan to do business in different states. You can trademark your logo as long as it is more than just a “description.”

Show copyright notices: Any content that you wrote and display on your Web site is covered under the federal copyright law. That includes anything you write, draw, or otherwise create. Anything that is of your own creation is immediately protected by this law as soon as you publish it.

Watch for infringements: scan the Internet regularly for plagiarism. If your content is used by someone else, write to the
company about the infringement and ask them to remove it from their site. The letter like this has much more weight if it comes from an attorney.

File a lawsuit: If the company using your copyrighted material, consult an attorney to explore your options. If you’re able to hire an attorney on a contingency fee basis and you file a suit, you may qualify for advance lawsuit funding. Lawsuit funding is a way to get money now that you can pay back when you win your case.

Lawsuit Hotline is a leader in lawsuit funding and has helped many people like you. For a low monthly rate, you can get anywhere from $500 to more than $1 million for any pending or settled infringement lawsuit you may have. For more information on lawsuit funding, visit the company’s web site at www.Lawsuit