Protecting Your Intellectual Property By Athulya - June 2, 2016 Last Updated at: Oct 08, 2020 1159 Early on in your business, you will be so focussed on forging partnerships, building processes and satisfying customers, that it’s easy to forget the minor, but soon to be major, aspects. Yes, we’re talking about intellectual property (IP), which is what drives the valuation of the majority of modern businesses. So let’s understand what IP is and why it’s so important. Trademarks, Copyrights and Patents Let’s get the basics right: your trademarks protect your brand, your copyrights the content and the patents your ideas and inventions. These are important because, without the protection they afford, your business can be compromised by any of your rivals. After all, think of how many iPhones sell primarily because of the branding. Why to Register? There’s no compulsion to register your IP. If you can prove you were the first to use it, it’s yours (in most cases). You, however, should still register it because the courts only hear cases related to registered IP in the courts. Therefore, if another entity were to register the unregistered name you’ve been using, the only way for you to fight them in court would be to first register the brand and then take them to court. Protect Your Intellectual Property When to Register? You needn’t register your IP immediately after you start your business. After all, you should first test your business idea. Once it gains traction, however, you should waste no time in getting it registered.