If you are a creator, inventor, or small business owner, your ideas are your livelihood. What you create and how you bring it to market will largely determine your success in the long run.
However, creation and design, especially in the technology space, must be carried out intentionally and carefully. If you do not secure the proper licenses and patents, you run the risk of intellectual property infringement.
In minor cases, IP infringement can result in decommissioning of the technology, royalties paid to the patent owner, damage to your reputation, and fines. In more serious or flagrant cases, the offender could face criminal charges or jail time.
Working with a patent attorney can put these problems to rest. By developing a comprehensive IP strategy, your IP attorney will ensure your ideas are protected and responsibly sourced. Here are the primary ways in which an IP lawyer can help you avoid infringement.
1. IP Landscape Research
Inquiring about the existence of certain technologies can be tricky, as patents exist of singular processes within larger systems. An IP attorney can conduct an in-depth market evaluation in which they will research the feasibility of patenting your technological idea, as well as unearth any existing similar ideas (i.e. prior art) that could lead to infringement. A thorough prior art search is a necessary step to patenting your novel invention.
2. Patent Filing
Once it is verified that your ideas are in fact original, your patent lawyer can assist with the filing of your patents with the proper bodies. As part of your IP strategy plan, your attorney should be able to advise on which exact processes or ideas should be patented, and how many patents to file. The documentation can be supplied and completed by your IP attorney with relative ease.
3. Write Clear Contracts
One manner in which small businesses fall victim to unintentional intellectual property infringement is through the lack of explicitly clear contracts. If your business is utilizing the services or content of other designers, engineers, or creators, it must be stated that the rights to their contributions to your business are transferred to the business itself. Otherwise, it could be difficult to prevent these individuals from using the technology for other purposes.
Your IP attorney can help draft and issue contracts that protect your business interests and clearly establish intellectual property guidelines for the future development of your technology.
4. Procure Material Responsibly
If your technology requires the use of existing systems or ideas, these need to be procured responsibly and legally to avoid the possibility of an IP infringement allegation in the future. Your IP lawyer can help obtain the necessary licenses to utilize existing copyrights or patents for the development of yours. This will ensure your finished product is protected from any accusations of infringement.
Develop an IP Strategy for the Future
At Patterson Thuente, we specialize in developing a comprehensive IP strategy catered to the creator. We can help safeguard your existing work, advise on the publication of future material, assist with filings, handle any infringement issues, and answer any questions. We will make sure things are done right, so you can focus on innovating.
The experienced IP lawyers at Patterson Thuente are here to help you protect your intellectual property as well as gain industry insights into the IP landscape. Our team of qualified attorneys stands ready to help you with your unique situation: https://www.ptslaw.com/contact/.