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  • Writer's pictureCook Tillman

Mistakes new businesses make with intellectual property

Taking a business from the idea phase to operating is a massive undertaking in time, effort and money. Startups can overwhelm even the most experienced business professional.

Many startups are lax when it comes to defending their intellectual property (IP). Too often, companies overlook this important aspect when starting out.

Like most things in business, a proactive defense can prevent headaches later. Here are some mistakes to avoid when creating any intellectual property:

Reacting instead of acting

Business owners have a lot to juggle when forming a company. Staffing issues or picking a physical location for your new company can take up days of your time. This leaves some details lost in the shuffle. Chief among these is the issue of IP defense.

Having a strong defense in place is much more effective than reacting to a threat. By making sure your company’s properly protected, you cut down unanticipated problems.

Cutting costs

When you’re starting a business, you need to save money wherever possible. It can be tempting to download trademark or patent forms off the internet and fill them out yourself. Depending on where you get these forms, they can be inconclusive to downright unenforceable.

Not expecting success

Sometimes a business owner may create a product or service they don’t anticipate going very far. They may be setting the groundwork for another product, or testing the waters. However, these ideas can occasionally take off, and you need to be prepared if they do. Business owners who don’t expect an idea to last won’t go through the work of protecting it. If it has any success, that can be an expensive mistake years later.


Starting a business creates many issues that need your attention. It can be easy to put off the defense of your company’s products or ideas, especially when just starting out. It may seem unfeasible that anyone would rip off an idea if you haven’t even gotten it off the ground. Unfortunately, it happens.

These are just a few of the mistakes entrepreneurs make when they are forming a business. It can be easy to dismiss IP defense as an unnecessary initial expense. However, without a strong defense for your company, you risk facing major setbacks further down the road.

Avoid the potential headaches by setting up the right protections. A skilled business attorney can walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.


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