Understanding Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property (IP) is commonly defined as a group of legal rights that provide protection over things people create or invent. It might sound straightforward, but there is a lot of confusion over what can actually be protected and what can not.

Who needs to be concerned with IP Protections?

We’ve all heard the phrase, “hindsight is 20/20”. That’s especially true when it comes to IP protections. So often companies or individuals do not realize a new creation or innovation should be protected until it is too late. If you are creating or developing within your space, you need to have an IP strategy to avoid any unintentional disclosure missteps. And, when you are creating, be careful to:

  • Make records. They should be accurate, dated and corroborated.
  • Research the competitive landscape early and identify both opportunities for protection and risks of infringement.
  • Use a non-disclosure agreement or contract before collaborating with another business.
What are some of the biggest IP challenges business owners and employers need to overcome?

The goal for your IP strategy needs to be: Identify, Protect, Monetize.  The question business owners need to answer is how they can most effectively achieve this. The first step is understanding the applicable IP types and the protection gained.

Intellectual Property Type The Value

Trade Secret

No registration fees or costs. Goes into effect upon creation and can last forever.

Non-Disclosure Agreement/Contract

Very affordable and flexible. But, it only binds the contracting parties.



Free and automatic upon creation.


Commercial differentiation and price enhancement. Low cost and can last forever, but must police others’ misuse.
 How can an IP strategy affect your bottom line?

It’s important to understand there is no “one-size fits all” approach to IP. The correct IP strategy must be tailored to your unique business. While some companies may be overspending on a scattered approach to protecting IP, other companies may not be investing enough and potential losing out on what could have been an important revenue stream.

The best way to right-size your strategy is to sit down with an experienced IP attorney. Protecting your intellectual property estate can be a daunting task. You’ll need someone with expertise to help guide you through the process and identify opportunities and risks you may have overlooked.

To learn more about how Epiphany Law can help with your company’s IP needs, check out our upcoming webinar. You can register here.

Do you have questions about IP? Contact us here


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