For startups, developing an intellectual property strategy that aligns with the business objectives is a must to meet needed success. Patents don’t determine whether a startup will be able to scale. So, companies overlook this phase and proceed with the launch first and patent a later mindset. But for some years many reputed companies like Google, Apple, Facebook believe that a strong IP portfolio is important to play the long game.

Every intellectual property you develop should be grounded in a business perspective. It should be addressed as your invention in the marketplace. With all the focus on compliance requirements and a plethora of other regulations, one of the most important assets is getting overlooked when it comes to data security and that is your intellectual property.

It’s time you take the steps to protect and strengthen this precious commodity.

File multiple provisional patent applications (PPAs) and File patents internationally

All your ideas and invention are literally what you originally envisioned but it could possibly with slight alterations made in other ways or used across other categories. So, make sure to protect your right to own and profit from that innovation. File multiple provisional patent applications and secure your invention. Acquiring patent protection internationally will provide an added value to your license and may give you a platform to deal with other companies as an investor.

Don’t forget about design patents

Through online platforms, copycats and infringers are often making copies of designs and patents. Design patents can help you stop online sellers and can be effective in your arsenal of defense. Your goal is to refine your point of difference and understand how your invention differs from patents that describe a similar invention that can leverage your negotiation.  Knowing how to produce the finest version of your invention as well as the cheapest is priceless.

File trademarks, copyrights to round out your portfolio

Trademarks help to develop a strong brand to move forward with and are a great option to have on the table. It is a safe option to be used to stop online infringers and copycats.

As counterfeiters often steal and repurpose brand owners’ images, copyright registration can be extremely important as it fights infringement more effectively than its intellectual property (IP) counterparts.

Identify and Prioritize your Intellectual property

Copyrights & trademarks are easy to see but other forms of IP may be harder to identify, including trade secrets.  Note everything that makes your business unique, differentiating it from your competitors in the market. It can be from thinking models, processes, procedures, and even your ideas. The secret to qualifying is that it must be used in business and result in an economic advantage over those who do not know or use it. Keep all these trade secrets in a non-disclosure agreement and consult with your patent attorney or any intellectual property law firm in San Diego about the correct ways to protect your trade secrets. Make a detailed spreadsheet of your company’s informational assets and determine which information is most at risk of being stolen.

Secure with data loss prevention tools

Enhance and secure all your important information with data loss prevention (DLP) tools that not only rapidly locates sensitive documents, but also accurately classifies and secures it automatically. It has a great feature to remediates your sensitive documents based on the policies you have imposed.

Educate your employees

Your employees are usually the weakest link in your IP security chain as they can act maliciously or just by accident put your IP at risk. To secure this weak link you need to educate your employees on your protocols and procedures for handling your Intellectual Property and make them aware of the consequences of their actions.

Ultimately, building a strong portfolio of intellectual property that aligns with your business objectives takes away the risk and thoroughly protects your investment.  Work with an attorney who specializes in intellectual property and secure your IP because if you make it easy for others to steal your ideas, you can ultimately end up washing away your own path to success.