If you are a small business owner and you are trying to figure out how to navigate an intellectual property concern, it is critically important to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as you can. “Woah,” you may be thinking, “I’m concerned but I’m not THAT concerned.” The instinct to hold off on meeting with an attorney before you absolutely must is understandable. You want to make sure that your profits are used wisely, which is an admirable goal. With that said, it is vital to avoid a decision that may prove to be “penny wise, pound foolish.” Meaning, that avoiding legal fees today may cost you and your business dearly down the line.
One of the reasons why any intellectual property concerns should be quickly brought to the attention of an experienced business attorney is that these concerns can balloon into legally complex and financially costly challenges very, very quickly.
Say that you have recently read an article about the importance of trademarking your company’s marketing tools, including logos, slogans, and even your company name. You’re now concerned that because none of your tools are trademarked that a headache may arise if you don’t get this issue sorted out. But, because it wasn’t a pressing concern before and you have no reason to believe that it is pressing now, you don’t seek legal guidance. In a month, you receive papers indicating that your company is being sued by a competitor located across the state that uses the same name. Suddenly, all of your branding efforts, marketing materials, online presence, and even the shopping bags in your store that carry your company’s name must all be successfully defended (at a potentially great financial cost) or must be changed because you have accidentally violated the offended company’s registered trademark.
Whatever the nature of your intellectual property concern may be, it is time to schedule a risk-free consultation with a local attorney who handles intellectual property law. As an experienced business litigation lawyer – including those who practice at Eric Siegel Law – can confirm, it is far better to be proactive when it comes to the potential of intellectual property legal disputes than it is to be reactive. If it is possible to avoid them by voicing your concerns early, do so. If you’re already facing an intellectual property legal challenge, speaking with an attorney as soon as you can will help to ensure that they are given all the time they need to build the strongest possible case on your company’s behalf.