The more popular your business is, the more your competitors are willing to emulate it to repeat your success.
Brand protection and IP rights registration tips
Each owner needs to protect intellectual property rights and be prepared for any illegal actions of other entrepreneurs.

Read an article from AppLaw on the main steps of business IP protection

*Reading time: ~ 5 minutes
Trademark, or shortly TM, is the key image of your brand. You will be able to protect not only your logo if it is depicted as an icon, but also the font itself and even the color scheme.
If you use more than one color in your business, we recommend that you apply for registration using all color combinations, as well as a black and white logo.

It is worth considering the naming of your company in the context of its protection as a TM even before its registration. Even if you came up with the name for the business yourself and think it is unique, the key task for you is to check public trademark registries. Moreover, you should look not only to search for matches but also to compare similar names.
Business owners usually delegate it to IP lawyers to make sure this search will be as thorough as possible, and you can avoid potential lawsuits from competitors for copying their brand.
However, you can conduct such a TM search yourself. But if you are not ready to revise registries for hundreds of thousands of TM, focus on international classes of services and goods that correspond with your business.

If you have a service business, you probably have one or a few brands. However, companies that trade goods will have to take care of protecting every single brand if they don't want to see their competitors profit from their ideas.

Registration of TM using the Madrid System will allow you to make one application and receive protection in more than 100 countries. In addition, registration of TM in one of the EU countries will give you protection on the territory of all 27 EU countries.
You can protect many creative elements of your business with the help of copyright:
  • texts, images, design elements, photos, and videos on your website and social networks - especially if your business is in the e-commerce sphere
  • articles, instructions, methodical and other text materials and books
  • printed materials and visualization of other physical objects
  • code and other elements of computer programs
  • sounds, audio, and video recordings

Your copyright on these objects is protected from the moment they are created and does not require additional registration. However, in certain cases, if there is a particular risk of infringement or copying by competitors, you can make registration of such objects. In this case, you will have written confirmation and it will be easier to prove copyright on these objects
Work for hire
Most of the things protected by intellectual property rights used by businesses fall into this category. This includes objects created by your employees and contractors.
To make sure that you own all IP rights, you should follow these steps.

1) All employees who create intellectual property objects as part of their work activities should receive separate payment for this, and such duties should be expressly stated in their employment contracts

2) Always document all tasks ordered to workers who create IP objects

3) Document the transfer of each object with a separate document, which will indicate that the employee has transferred all property rights to you
Speaking about objects created by contractors, it is enough to transfer the rights from the contractor to you in the contract.
If you follow our advice, you will have enough arguments to defend your position in disputes with employees or contractors who want a percentage of income or an additional fee for the objects they created.
Obtaining a patent will help you protect the visuals of a product, process, or technology that you create and make money from it. 
However, this process is far from easy, so we do not recommend trying to patent everything. You need to decide which properties you can best monetize and focus on applying a patent for them.

Here are examples of things you can patent:

  • computer programs (the method itself and the mechanism for processing the created computer code)
  • technologies and methods for trading and investing
  • product packaging design
  • solutions and services for e-commerce
When you have decided on the specific thing that you want to protect with a patent, start collecting documentation for filing an application. You must describe in as much detail as possible the use of the object by providing diagrams, instructions, and examples.
Business Importance of IP Rights Protection
Let's summarize why your company needs to protect commercial objects of intellectual property rights:

1) Get official legal documents confirming your rights to these objects, which can be used in case of disputes
2) Protect your business and justify compensation in case of violations by competitors
3) Increase the capitalization of your business by supplementing its value with an assessment of IP objects
4) Raise the status of the business while holding negotiations and attracting investments
5) Use protected objects for licensing purposes to transfer them to other entrepreneurs and receive income from this
In order to go through all the processes of registration of various objects of intellectual property rights, collect the necessary documents and avoid unnecessary mistakes, you should contact professional consultants with experience in registering such objects abroad. This is the kind of expertise that AppLaw lawyers are ready to provide you!

AppLaw lawyers are ready to go with you all the way to obtain licenses and ensure that their status is updated on time.
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