What Belongs In Your Intellectual Property Protection Toolkit?

The job of all intellectual property protection attorneys is to provide their clients with a toolkit that can be used to defend their rights and interests. As someone looking into how to protect your IP, you deserve to know what those tools are. Here are four of the biggest ways intellectual property protection attorneys help their clients.

Properly Registering IP

Yes, there's a good chance you already had some idea about the registration of things like copyrights, patents, and trademarks with government agencies. A lawyer can help you determine which tools are best for the job, and they can assist you with making sure your filings will be as enforceable as possible. Likewise, they can assist you in sending notices to violators to start the defense process when there's trouble.

Acquiring Names

Business, product, and internet domain names all have immense value to their holders. You'll need to register these names just like you would copyrights, trademarks, and patents. A big difference, though, is that many of these registrations will involve working with other businesses. For example, you'll register your domain names with a registrar, a firm that has been given the right to do so by ICANN, an international consortium.

It's also important to make sure your business names are properly registered in all the jurisdictions where you intend to operate. For example, a bank may not be able to cash checks or take payments in your business name if it isn't registered in the state where your organization resides.


Confidentiality agreements are often the first line of protection when it comes to ideas, products, and services that are in development. These agreements must strike the right balance between specificity and breadth. That's because an overly broad agreement may be invalidated because it restricts the signer's ability to ply their trade or discuss certain matters. Conversely, an overly narrow agreement might prevent enforceability altogether; for example, an agreement may not be enforceable in a foreign country because it wasn't named.

Dealing with Joint Ownership Issues

Few things can restrict your ability to use your IP as much as being stuck in a joint ownership agreement. If you have existing agreements, your lawyer will work on ways to disengage from them, such as buying out the other side. Folks who aren't already in such agreements will be strongly encouraged to avoid them. This is because the other owners can prevent you from selling or licensing IP, and they can even oppose enforcement actions.

Contact intellectual property protection attorneys in your area to learn more.