The sad truth is that people are constantly trying to rip off someone else’s original business idea. Over the years, many laws have been implemented to reduce the rate of this type of theft, but with the introduction of the internet, things became even more complicated. Ideas can now be stolen online and fake products can be sold online, as well.
As a business owner, the only way to avoid these types of theft is through brand protection. Brand protection is a strategy adopted by a business to safeguard your business’s intellectual property against cloning, pirates, counterfeiters, and infringers.
It is important to note that different businesses deal with infringements differently, so your protection strategy should be tailored to fit your business situation.
Generations Law Group provides legal counsel to business owners throughout Idaho. Read on to learn more from our attorneys about how we can help you decide which brand protection strategy is best for you, and how to tailor it to your business situation.
1. Create a strong trademark
The more memorable your logo, trademark, and brand are, the greater protection it will have from trademark infringement. Something more generic, like a simple logo or commonly-used name, will be more susceptible to copying, counterfeiting, or theft of other kinds.
2. Protect intellectual property
People sometimes forget to protect elements of their business that don’t feel as tangible, but every intellectual piece of your business is your property, too. This can include:
- Brand name
- Book or other creative work
- Invention/design process
Depending on which of these elements you have on your site or within your business, you may want to obtain copyright, trademark, or patent protection. Contact an Idaho business attorney to discuss which option is right for you.
If you’re worried about international theft, you can even record your intellectual property with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
3. Make it clear that your information is protected
Make it clear on your website and marketing materials that you own trademarks, copyright, and patents and inform consumers about how to spot a fake product. It might be best to even include a statement in your terms and conditions on your website that the site itself is the business’s intellectual property.
4. Keep an eye on your intellectual property
Monitor your intellectual property to keep them safe and protected. There are third-party sites online that can do an “audit” to ensure your brand and intellectual property hasn’t been stolen (although you should be careful about which sites you give permissions to, of course).
You can also monitor things yourself, which includes checking the internet for unauthorized uses of your intellectual property and monitoring for brand theft in regards to your brick-and-mortar stores, products, etc.
If you find that someone is infringing one of your products or a mark, contact a business attorney as soon as possible.
5. Educate your customers
Use images, videos, blog posts, or word of mouth to help your customers identify your products. This should be for both prospective and existing customers. If they can tell the difference between a legitimate and a fake product, they will less likely be deceived by counterfeiters.
Contact Generations Law Group Today
It is not easy starting and growing a business, and once you’ve built it, it’s something to be proud of. That’s why it is frustrating when other people try to steal your idea and reduce your profit. If you suspect that there’s an infringement on your right, contact our team of experienced business attorneys at Generations Law Group.