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In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to patent attorney and the owner of Martin IP Law Group, Rick Martin. 

Rick works with a broad array of clients, from the individual inventor to corporations. They can do patents, trademarks, and anything to do with IP. They’ll work with multimillion dollar companies, their employees, and everyone in between. 

Rick and Josh explore the risks of not going through the proper trademark and IP steps when trying to develop a product. Rick shares that it depends. It’s a good idea to register your ideas from the beginning – there are requirements and duties as far as policing that trademark, and you have to make efforts in protecting your intellectual property. 

Trademarks are specified based on domestic or international registration. Outside of the U.S. if you don’t register your trademark, that protection stops overseas. Trademarks are generally protected by common law but need to also be registered to be protected federally. 

When you see your content has been copied, that falls into the category of copyright violations. If you record a video, that is automatically protected; you’d have to register such a piece of content before pursuing a lawsuit, but it’s federally protected. Rick shares that you should contact an attorney if your content was infringed online. The next step is typically sending a cease and desist letter before trying to file a lawsuit. 

Registering your domain is not all it takes to protect your brand. You have to protect your intellectual property and protect your identity as an entrepreneur and as a brand. Rick shares some basics, too. Copyrights protect creations and the expression of ideas. A logo, for instance, can be protected by both trademark and copyright laws as they require creative design. A trademark links the goods or services provided to consumers back to the provider of those goods and services – and prevents confusion in the marketplace around where products come from.

It’s definitely worth the investment to have an attorney assist you in filing to register intellectual property. There are websites that advertise doing it yourself, but Rick shares that having the advice and guidance from an expert in the space is essential, especially if you’re serious about protecting your intellectual property. 

If you apply for patent protection incorrectly, your IP can become public domain and there’s not much that can be done if someone infringes that IP in such a circumstance. Invest in an attorney and get the experts on top of things – before you lose your IP. 

Want to learn more? Check out Martin IP Law Group’s website at https://ipsolutionslaw.com/

Check out Martin IP Law Group on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/martin-ip-solutions/

Check out Rick Martin on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rickmartinlaw/

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