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How to Keep Your Intellectual Property Safe

October 9, 2014 | Nikki Bisel

Intellectual Property Light bulb money Seafoam MediaGot a great idea? Innovation is one of the best ways a new small business or entrepreneur can succeed. Every day, new intellectual property is brainstormed and designed around the world! You could have a brilliant way to engineer something, a culinary creation that's never been seen before, or an amazing design/logo that inspires others. The possibilities are endless, and if you ever think something is too outlandish, think again.
Remember the "Cronut" craze in 2013, where a bakery came up with a hybrid croissant/donut that swept New York City by storm? People waited outside in lines, sometimes for hours, just to try one! The Dominique Ansel Bakery became so popular and synonymous with their cronuts that many copycats were popping up all over, trying to enjoy a sliver of their success. In response, they filed a trademark on the term "Cronut", leaving Dominique the only bakery to officially distinguish their product as such.
Whatever your intellectual property is, it's important that you protect it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more vulnerable you become to having your idea copied and stolen. Depending on what you've created, there are four main ways to ensure the sole proprietor of your idea is you and you alone.

4 ways to protect your intellectual property:

1. Patent
2. Trademark
3. Copyright
4. Trade secret 
For a better idea at what these terms mean, law firm Cook & Cook put together an infographic showing how each one is applicable, and the length of protection they offer you as a small business owner or entrepreneur.
Have you taken steps to keep your intellectual property safe? What other tips do recommend?
Send us a comment on Facebook or a tweet to @SeafoamMedia with your thoughts!

Keeping Intellectual Property Safe Infographic Seafoam Media

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