September 6, 2016

The Intellectual Property Owner’s Manual

By Bryan K. Wheelock, Principal

Part of being a Patent Lawyer means that I regularly give presentations about — you guessed it — patent law.  I give presentations to companies, to people in government, to other lawyers, and to people starting their first business.  After one such presentation to a group of young entrepreneurs, I thought, “I’d like to give them something fun, something more than a handout that would still cover all areas of intellectual property that would be important to someone just starting out.” What started out as a project that would be “fun” for people listening to the presentation quickly became a source of my own fun.  And that’s how the “Intellectual Property Owner’s Manual” was born.

The Owner’s Manual covers a broad range of topics, including:

  • Choosing a business name
  • Selecting a trademark for a new brand
  • When to register your trademark
  • Protecting your trademark
  • Copyright rights and terms
  • Filing for patents
  • Searching for patents
  • Markings for patents
  • Infringement and enforcement
  • Discussing confidentiality agreements with employees
  • And more

These items provide a good overview of what business owners can expect and offer a starting point for thinking about protecting valuable IP assets.  We recommend getting familiar with some of these ideas, especially confidentiality agreements, before even hiring a first employee or talking in depth with outside vendors.  The better you can protect your IP, the better your business will be.

There are certainly more topics that should be addressed with a qualified intellectual property attorney.  For a more in-depth look at the topics covered in the Intellectual Property Owner’s Manual, be sure to watch the YouTube video above, taped during a presentation at St. Louis’s Center for Emerging Technology this past June.

If you have any questions or would like to receive a copy of the “Intellectual Property Owner’s Manual,” please do not hesitate to email me at bwheelock@hdp.com. And don’t forget to sign up for our blog to get the latest IP news by entering your name and email in the boxes below.