Welcome to 2022!
I thought we could start off the new year with a few tips for business owners to help prevent bigger problems in the future.
Identify Intellectual Property Assets of Your Company – and Document in an Inventory Sheet
Make a list of all intellectual property assets that are important to the success of your company. This includes all trademarks, patents, and copyrights.
Make sure you are keeping track of the maintenance deadlines for your trademark and patent registrations – or at least enlist an intellectual property attorney to help you with these tasks.
If your company needs to undergo a valuation, the inventory of intellectual property assets will be readily available for the person conducting the appraisal. Plus, if you plan to sell or merge with another company, you will need an inventory of all intellectual property assets, anyway.
Register All Trademarks In Use
Your company may have only registered the company name as a trademark with the USPTO. But you may have additional products and services that are marketed under specific logos/trademarks. If the product and service names are not merely descriptive (like “decorative basket” or “web design”), then you should consider registering them as trademarks with the USPTO.
Do Not Ignore Cease and Desist Letters… Please!
If your company receives a cease and desist letter from an attorney accusing you of trademark infringement or copyright infringement – do not ignore the letter.
The other party could file a lawsuit against your company in federal court. Your company will then be compelled to spend a lot more money defending itself in court – much more than if you had sought legal advice on how to respond. A well-written letter on law firm letterhead is more likely to help settle the dispute prior to any lawsuit.
Do Not Use Photographs, Artwork, Trademarks or Intellectual Property Without Permission
Just because photographs, artwork, music, or articles are available on the internet does not mean you can copy and use them for free. Take the time to obtain permission from the creator and/or owner of the work before using it in your own publications. This will prevent you or your company from being served a cease-and-desist letter.
These are just a few important tips that all business owners should be aware of throughout the year. Good luck in 2022. The Intellectual Property team at Marks Gray hopes you experience peace of mind and great health throughout the year.