Stuart D. Morse & Associates, L.L.C. Stuart D. Morse & Associates, L.L.C.
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When it comes to your startup, don't neglect IP concerns

As a commentator in a recent business-related article notes, the principals of startup enterprises routinely devote -- and rightly so -- a substantial amount of time, energy and resources to the crafting of plans geared toward promoting success.

That's just a given, right? Any entrepreneur seeking to run a business operation that is both efficient and profitable will not fail to apply creative energies toward the fashioning of a sound plan that encompasses product/customer identification, optimal marketing strategies, financing options and a host of other key variables that drive success.

Why is it, then, asks the above writer (Tom Kulik, a technology and intellectual property specialist), that so many key decision makers in newly forming companies don't seem to place a similar and timely focus on identifying and taking steps to fully safeguard their valuable intellectual property?

After all, IP -- spanning patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, proprietary know-how and more -- can be the very lifeblood of a startup poised to do economic battle in a bracing marketplace.

Why does IP sometimes get short shrift by entrepreneurs poised to launch new businesses?

Kulik offers several reasons. Given all the frenetic activity surrounding the race to open doors and get to market, the attention paid to IP rights is sometimes fragmented and incomplete. Additionally, business owners can be guilty of tunnel vision regarding their IP, that is, looking too narrowly at one or a few select assets and not seeing how IP is fully integrated in their company. Moreover, even well-intentioned entrepreneurs who fully comprehend the value of their IP are often tardy in getting around to protecting it.

There's an antidote to all that, states Kulik, and it is this: timely -- and, yes, that means early -- consultation with a proven business attorney who routinely works with diverse clients on IP matters, including litigation concerns.

IP rights can be flat-out precious to a company. Protecting them across all dimensions can go far toward ensuring business success and mitigating litigation-related and other risks.

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