Investors want to minimize their investment risk and maximize their return. Having an intellectual property (IP) strategy is one way to signal investors you are a good investment.

Your primary asset is your IP. Develop an IP strategy early for your startup. 

Don’t make the mistake of failing to protect your IP because your startup doesn’t have money. Use your own money if you have to. Get those applications filed. Create an internal trade secret and confidential information protection process.

Four important elements of an IP strategy:

  • Hire an IP attorney, a specialist who’ll be able to tell you what you have, and how best to protect it (e.g., with patent, copyright, or trade secret law etc.).
    • If you can’t afford an IP attorney, look for firms that give seminars at university incubators, or those with startup-oriented practices.
    • Find a law school with an IP clinic. Learn about and understand the various types of IP you have.
  • Have an attorney search the patent office and trademark office records to determine whether you have the right to use your IP, and most importantly, protect it before you start engaging with third-parties.
  • File your patent, trademark, and copyright applications.
  • Establish an internal trade secret/confidential information protection program.

To learn more about Creating a Competitive Advantage through an IP Strategy visit