With an intellectual ecosystem and infrastructure that strongly encourages entrepreneurial activity, Columbia is a great place to start up a business or to grow an existing business around a new idea. But how does a startup expand to new markets after the well-financed competition sees the proven business model? Similarly, how do larger companies justify the growing pains resulting from companies that get their product to the market first?
The answer to both questions lies in intellectual property, which comes in many forms to protect certain embodiments of ideas. In addition to the many contracts that can be used to protect intellectual property, businesses also consider protecting their intellectual property with patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. Generally speaking, businesses use patents to protect the function in their ideas, they use copyrights to protect the expression of their ideas, they use trademarks to protect their reputation associated with their ideas, and they use trade secrets to protect anything that the company can keep as a secret (which is not always easy).
To best understand how these forms of intellectual property can protect your business, please consider a consultation with an intellectual property attorney.