A collection of ideas and concepts. Intellectual property (IP) refers to the ownership of ideas. IP can be protected through patents, trademarks, or copyrights. It is important to start protecting your intellectual property early in the process of starting a business and not disclose your product’s secrets, not only to prevent another business from using your idea, but also because disclosing can prevent you from obtaining a patent.
Resources to learn more
The following are resources where you can learn more about intellectual property protection in the United States:
- United States Patent and Trademark Office: “The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks.”
- U.S. Copyright Office: “The U.S. Copyright Office promotes creativity and free expression by administering the nation’s copyright laws and by providing impartial, expert advice on copyright law and policy for the benefit of all.”