Tips to Safeguard your Start-up from Intellectual Property Theft

a startup’s growth and sustainability, brand protection is imperative. It may
require you to put more effort than just launching the business. And still,
there are chances that you will leave some gaps that enable other entities to
infiltrate your brand and hence, you need to protect your brand from
unauthorized use. Most people release their company name and logo without
providing any security to it. So, if you are planning to launch your start-up,
the first thing you need to do is to get your company’s trademark registered to
protect your brand’s identity. As a trademark is given based on geography, one
can only apply at the place from where he/she has been performing the business.

are a few important things you need to take care of to ensure your start-up’s
brand protection.

A Non-Disclosure
Agreement is a Must-have

 Prepare a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to
legally prevent third-party entities from using your intellectual properties in
any form. An NDA binds two or more people in an agreement that specifies who
share important business information with whom and what information cannot be
disclosed in front of anyone outside of the organization. It is imperative for
an entrepreneur to get an NDA signed by all the key stakeholders of their business
including decision-makers, investors, vendors, advisers etc.

Keep Your Intellectual
Properties Protected

an entrepreneur, you should understand the branding importance and protect your
brand’s intellectual properties by trademarking them. There are many things you
can choose to trademark such as your company’s logo, designs and patterns on
product packages or even the branding colors.

are a few ways to protect your business’ intellectual properties:

  • Logo

you finalize your company logo, trademark it with the help of a professional
services provider. The trademark registration ensures that no other
organization can use your registered mark.

  • Tagline

brand needs to have a unique tagline. Register your tagline as the intellectual
property of your brand to restrict third-party entities from using it in any
form. You’ll have to follow a few norms while registering the tagline, like
making it creative and unique.

  • Color
    Mark Protection

mark protection includes trademarking of product color, packaging and services
to help determine the source and not used only for decoration purposes. Color
mark protection is one of the important elements of Startup Brand Protection.

Avoid ‘Likelihood of Confusion’

of confusion’ refers to the similarity in appearance, meaning, sound, or
pronunciation of a company’s IP to another causing confusion for customers. In
order to avoid such confusion and get your IP certified, you need to ensure
that the IP of your brand is not similar to others in your industry.

Consider Linking Your
Brand to a Source

Generic IP can be much more easily copied, replicated and stolen. For instance, the most counterfeited brands are Apple, Fastrack and Nike, having relatively simple logos and branding designs. However, you can make your brand stand out and reduce the scope for intellectual property theft by designing branding material that has greater complexity. One effective way to achieve this is by linking your IPs to an attributional source like names, dates and even locations.

Wrap Up

start-up’s brand and the IP associated with it are highly valuable and worth
protecting. While it is very difficult to completely eradicate theft online,
the above fundamental steps can help you safeguard your investment and provide
you peace of mind.


  • 10 March, 2021
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