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Starting a business? Understand intellectual property

intellectual property

When Ohio entrepreneurs have an original idea that they feel can fill a gap in a certain industry, they may wonder how no one has come up with the idea before. Though it is entirely possible to come up with a concept, product or service that others have not offered, all industries continually move and grow, which makes it important for entrepreneurs to protect their ideas as much as possible. Especially for those just starting their own business, understanding intellectual property is essential.

Intellectual property can come in various forms, but in general, IP refers to original creations, concepts and ideas. In some cases, protections automatically apply to IP, such as copyright automatically applying to someone’s writing, music or artwork. However, IP can also include the following:

  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Trade secrets

Unlike automatic copyright, patents and trademarks need to be applied for and approved by the proper agencies. Additionally, entrepreneurs can also obtain official copyright for their work if they hope to gain additional protection for their ideas, which could prove useful in the event of a copyright dispute. Along those same lines, it is necessary for new business owners to ensure that their ideas are, in fact, original and that their actions do not infringe on the IP rights of other creatives and business owners.

It is easy for intellectual property to become confusing, and a person may believe that his or her idea is completely original only to face an infringement claim from another individual or entity. However, protecting ideas and work is crucial in the business world, so Ohio entrepreneurs may want to ensure that they have the right help in obtaining protections for their work. In the event that they are accused of infringement or if another party infringes on their IP, exploring their legal options is wise.