Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but it can also be just as stressful as it is exciting. Not only are you worried about the financial aspect of launching a new business endeavor but you are also worried about the ultimate success of your newly formed company. One of the biggest worries many new entrepreneurs experience is cyber theft of intellectual materials. In other words, what would happen if your innovative product line was breached during development? If you are truly concerned with hitting the ground running with a patent or trademark you ‘own,’ here are a few ways to safeguard your startup against cybertheft.
Work with an Incorporation Specialist
When building a brand, you really must remember that your business name, your brand, is of vital importance. Sometimes referred to as your trademark, this is how you will be easily identified going forward once you have launched. You want a good name that is easy to remember but you don’t want a trademark which can be easily confused with another company. Why not let an incorporation specialist do the legwork for you? They have expertise in searching the United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, so that you can be assured the name/trademark you’ve chosen is free and clear of encumbrances. Protecting your startup from cybertheft begins with a USPTO search.
Limit Access to R&D
Did you know that most cybertheft of intellectual property stems from an inside job? The truth is, most of those copyright infringements or theft are perpetrated by someone who has access to your designs. Even though you may be starting small with a limited number of ‘trusted’ employees, there’s always the off chance that your designs, your intellectual property, can be literally sold to the highest bidder. As a rule of thumb, the more unique your designs are, the higher prices they will fetch on the black market. That’s an unfortunate fact. Because so much theft starts as an inside job, limit access to research and development, R&D.
Don’t Let the Cat Out of the Bag
One of the things you will be tempted to do is issue press releases early on. This can be a grave error in judgment if you aren’t careful to guard the information they contain. Go too far and you’ve given the competition what they need to get the jump on you. Don’t say enough and you won’t garner interest within your market. It is far better to hint at great things to come than to let the cat out of the bag.
There will come a time when your brand, your trademark, becomes easily identifiable with your company. However, until such time as that, it is better to keep a well-guarded secret. Yes, you want to build excitement about what you will be launching, but you don’t want to give away your trade secrets. An incorporation specialist can give you tips and tricks to maintain the right level of privacy where needed while offering suggestions on how to form a business entity set for success. Just remember, your success depends on a well-kept secret, so mum’s the word!