If you are thinking about starting your own financial advising firm or an RIA, it is important to consider the ways in which your company’s use of intellectual property (IP) can potentially make or break your brand. Your business will be operating in a competitive market. As a result, you’ll likely be looking to stand out from your competitors both efficiently and effectively. A smart IP strategy can help you to accomplish that goal.
There are four primary kinds of intellectual property. You likely won’t need to concern yourself much – if at all – with patents and copyrights due to the nature of your industry. You will also likely be able to manage trade secret concerns fairly effectively with non-disclosure agreements. As a result, your primary concern is likely to be trademarks.
Thinking about trademarks
Trademarks are used primarily for branding purposes. And virtually any branding tool that you utilize to distinguish your company and its services in the marketplace can be trademarked. For example, companies frequently trademark their names, logos, catchphrases, graphics used repeatedly in advertising campaigns, etc. It is now also common practice to trademark company domain names.
You’ll want to seek legal guidance and think critically about the formal trademark registration process in order to safeguard your branding efforts and minimize the likelihood of incurring liability based on accusations of infringement. By being proactive in this way, you can help your company to grow roots in the marketplace that won’t be easily disturbed.
When you’re launching and growing a business, you – very understandably – will almost always have a lot on your mind. Adding concerns about intellectual property to your mental load may be a little frustrating but this effort will likely be well worth the energy it takes.