For small business owners, trademarking can seem like a long hard legal road that you need to hire a professional lawyer to handle. While it is complicated, some small business owners fail to properly trademark their information and technology and fall victim to pirates and others who want to profit off of their hard work.
It was recently announced that the once popular MP3 sharing service, Napster, will officially go out of business. Napster was perhaps one of the first major sources for drawing up the debate on whether music should be free to download or if it was illegal. The courts found that “sharing” music was illegal, but that did not stop several other websites that traded music, movies, software, and books from popping up all over the world.
Music and media are not the only things that need to be trademarked. Every part of your business is a point of contention when it comes to trademarks. Major technology companies such as Apple, Samsung, and HTC have been litigating with each other over patents on their touchscreen and smartphone technology ever since the iPod came out. It’s not just technology squabbling with each other, companies that make things like rings for men and memory mattresses are at each other’s throats for trademarks for the most miniscule of technology.
If you do not end up trademarking certain parts of your business, you could face certain people who try to undercut your business and steal your ideas. Another important factor to consider in the trademark field is the importance of non disclosure agreements. When you hire a new employee have him or her immediately sign a contract which prevents them from divulging secrets to competitors.
When you are writing blogs and articles for the Internet, there is so much theft and plagiarism that it is impossible to trust what anyone is saying. If you need to hire someone to write copy for your website or update web content, you should invest money in a program called Copyscape. This acts like a more advanced version of Google search and allows you to scan the web for copyrighted content.
The bottom line is that not watching out for trademarks can end up losing your company money. You may lose out on potential profits from not capitalizing on technology. You could also face legal trouble yourself by not keeping up with standards and posting content that doesn’t belong to you.