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Small business considerations regarding intellectual property

Businesses of any size should know how to protect their intellectual property. Small business owners in Nevada especially need to have an understanding of what is involved, both in terms of options and the costs associated with them.

As the U.S. Small Business Administration points out, there are several avenues that company leadership can take to ensure their assets are protected

  • Trademarks: These will provide legal protection for logos, business names or symbols associated with a company.
  • Patents: These are useful for protecting an invention.
  • Copyrights: Anyone dealing with digital works, movies, books and similar creations should explore a copyright.

Failing to give the proper legal protection to the above items could be financially devastating for a business. Unfortunately, many small businesses simply lack the resources or access to the help they need. For example, Stopfakes.gov notes that only about 15 percent of small businesses are even aware of the intellectual property protection they need when doing business overseas.

The New York Times released a report noting that business owners should be aware of which options are affordable and still meet their needs. A patent can cost upward of $25,000 to obtain, which means a trademark may be the more cost-effective choice.

However, a trademark does not necessarily offer the comprehensive protection a business may be. For example, even with a trademark in place, someone else could register a website address with the company name. This could leave a business owner frustrated and even losing customers due to the confusion.

The SBA encourages small business owners to work with professionals to determine where their risks may be. Identifying key assets and taking the right steps to protect them can give company leadership peace of mind.

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