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Global Entrepreneurship Week Kansas City

Insights from Global Entrepreneurship Week Kansas City Hosts: Crissa Cook, Hovey Williams, LLP

Global Entrepreneurship Week Kansas City
With more than 150 events, it’s hard to choose which Global Entrepreneurship Week events to attend between November 13 – 17! That’s why we asked our event hosts to tell us more about their events and provide some helpful insights. Grab your calendar and get ready to learn:

Hovey Williams, LLP is hosting:

Trademarks and Patents: Where to Start?
Tuesday, November 14
10 – 11:30 a.m.

Trademark attorney Cheryl Burbach and Patent Attorney Crissa Cook, with Hovey Williams LLP, will cover the basics of building a brand and protecting other technology assets through the strategic use of trademark and patent registrations.

“Intellectual Property” refers to virtually anything created by an individual or group of individuals, including inventions, written works, images, symbols, names, etc. Here are some basics to set the stage:

1. Intellectual Property Is a Valuable Business Asset

For a new business, Intellectual Property (“IP”) can represent some of the most valuable business assets if correctly protected. Nearly everything developed or created in association with founding a new business is potentially eligible for some kind of protection and can begin adding value to the business immediately.

2. Take Steps from the Beginning to Protect Your IP

Everyone associated with the company has the potential to develop IP valuable to the business. It is important that new employee contracts address rights in IP developed by that employee for the company. However, founding members of a business are often overlooked. It is equally important that the founders execute contracts similarly protecting the IP developed for the business.

3. Do Your Research

Preliminary Internet searches should always be conducted when choosing the name of your company, product, internet domain, etc., to ensure that the name being selected isn’t confusingly similar to an existing company’s mark. A good trademark attorney can assist with a more sophisticated search and review of any close marks.

4.  Keep Good Records

If it ever becomes necessary to enforce your IP, detailed written and dated records can be the difference between a successful or unsuccessful outcome.

5. Understand the Role of IP in Your Organization

Contracts, patents, trade secrets, copyright and trademark registrations are all vehicles for protecting the company’s IP. However, they should always be pursued as part of a bigger strategy. These are business tools and it sometimes does not make business sense to expend time, effort and financial resources on them. Conversely, in some cases you have one shot at securing your rights, and it can be short-sighted to forgo IP protection to save money in the near term and lose substantial value down the road. A good IP plan should take a holistic view of the company and recognize how and when IP protection can be leveraged to add value to the bottom line.

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