A startup’s Intellectual Property (IP) is often a distinctively valuable and critical asset to its business. It’s worth taking affirmative and thoughtful measures to protect it. Strong IP strategy can lead to a higher valuation and minimize investor risk when evaluating a startup. Having an IP strategy is a differentiator when talking to potential investors. There are many basic, and often inexpensive, actions that companies can and should take to preserve, protect and enhance their IP.

Here are four, no-cost steps you can take today to protect your IP:

  1. Educate employees regularly as to the importance of IP to ensure that new personnel learn quickly and remind existing personnel of the importance of IP.
  2. Adopt simple but relevant corporate policies such as signing non-disclosure agreements.
  3. Publicize policies internally.
  4. Enforce policies consistently.

For example, companies will benefit from training human resources managers and heads of business units regarding the importance of not allowing new employees to begin employment without signing appropriate employee agreements, training new employees regarding document retention and IT security policies, and training sales teams and other personnel who interface with vendors and commercial partners on the necessity of routine nondisclosure agreements and what information is, and is not, subject to such nondisclosure agreements.

While these suggestions are by no means exhaustive, taking these steps will help emerging companies strengthen and secure their IP and position them to leverage their IP portfolios for growth and success.

To learn more about Creating a Competitive Advantage with Intellectual Property visit university.ventureforge.co