Legal Matters - Intellectual Property Basics
Having a great idea that can evolve into a business is a fragile thing until there is a critical mass in cash flow to sustain the business growth. Capturing the idea requires trial error and documentation. The recent changes to the USPTO procedures makes the need for documenting and filing protection for the many ideas that become the kernel for a business even more imperative. The ability to defend claims, to insure that the idea is both unique and novel is guided by a set of legal work flows that allows the creation of a patent. Patents teach everyone what you are doing and gives you the license to protect what you are doing for a limited period of time. Alternative to a patent, is the protection of a trade secret which as long as it remains protected, is a competitive advantage that may be the critical element to insuring that business is able to grow without having competition knock the wind out of the sails of the new business too quickly. All successful business relationships are built on trust. Years of work to develop the subtleties of the relationship then are codified in clear and effective contracts. Every transaction and supplier relationship is a contract. The same base principles are woven into the variety of contracts that are required to establish and operate a business. All transactions are contracts. Good fences make good neighbors, and good contracts make good business.
b. Trade Secrets
c. The USPTO
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