How to Protect My Intellectual Property?

By Henry DeVries, CEO of Indie Books Intl.

Are you safeguarding your intellectual assets? Protecting physical property — such as buildings and cars — is an obvious choice for most business people because these things are visible and tangible. We can all see it, stand on it, or ride in it. But what about trade secrets, trade names, and copyrights? Intellectual property is another matter, because it is not easy to see and much harder to value.

Annually the United States issues 100,000 patents, 60,000 trademarks, and more than 600,000 copyrights. The system is beautiful to behold when it goes right.

“As an attorney who has helped protect thousands of products and services in the past decade, I also have seen the unfortunate consequences when things go wrong,” says attorney Larry Binderow, a specialist in trademarks, copyright protection, and domestic/international licensing and franchising. “The stakes are high because counterfeit and fraudulent use of intellectual property costs U.S. businesses more than $60 billion per year.”

When a mark is registered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Binderow recommends that notice of the registration be given by placing the familiar “circle-R” ® symbol adjacent the mark as used on labels or packaging, and in advertising or similar publications.