One of the concerns entrepreneurs in California may have is how to prevent their company's intellectual property from being stolen or copied. The use of patents is one aspect of intellectual property management business owners may use to protect their company's assets.
Patents are legal declarations of property that give entities the exclusive rights to producing and selling inventions, and they should be considered valuable assets of a business. However, it is important that business owners understand exactly how they work before submitting patent applications.
Patent filers should understand that when they file a patent for their idea or invention, it entails revealing what is behind the creation, such as how it works or the process for creating it. Full patents, including those that have not yet been approved, are published online and can be seen by competitors. This means that competitors have the opportunity to steal the idea and claim a significant part of the market share before the owner of the patent has become established.
Some entrepreneurs feel that is best not to use a patent so that they can protect the secrets behind their inventions. One example of this is search engine algorithms, which are not patented processes but trade secrets, giving them more protection than the use of a patent would.
Entrepreneurs with new startups should also be aware that the patent application process is costly and can take a long time, sometimes years, to obtain a decision. Some business owners may opt instead to apply their financial resources and time to the development of their idea.
An attorney who practices intellectual property law may assist entrepreneurs with pursuing legal remedies against entities that infringe on their intellectual property rights. Litigation may be used to compel parties to cease the use of stolen intellectual property.