How to protect your intellectual property rights as a small business owner

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The simple fact is that you can’t protect your intellectual property rights if you don’t know what they are. Before we get started, I want to explain what “intellectual property” means. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, “Intellectual property” is “a broad term for a category of intangible assets that can be owned by an individual or business.” This includes things like inventions, creative works and discoveries.


  • Write down your ideas. Don’t rely on memory. You don’t want to forget the details of an idea that’s going to make you rich, so write it down immediately before you forget.
  • Keep a notebook with you at all times, and write down any ideas that come to mind during the day (and night).

Domain name registration or acquisition

If you’re just starting out, it’s important to register your domain name. This will ensure that no one else can take it and use it for their own purposes. If you already have a registered domain name, check to make sure that it hasn’t expired by visiting the site of the company where you registered your domain name. Make sure that they are still listed as the registrar (and not another company), because if this happens, people could come along and take over ownership of your site by claiming rights over its URL–and there would be nothing anyone could do about it!

If all looks good on these fronts, then check back with an SEO expert who has experience working with small businesses like yours so they can help protect against any potential security breaches or other problems down the road.

Email signature design

Your email signature is an important part of your branding. It’s the first thing people see when they receive an email from you, so it should be professional and unique to you as a business owner.

Here are some tips for creating the perfect email signature:

  • Keep it simple. Your contact information should be easy to read, even at a glance–so avoid using too many fonts or colors in your design!
  • Use both sides of the page if possible (or just one side if not). This allows room for more text and/or graphics, which may help make your business seem more official and trustworthy in customers’ eyes!

Graphic design of your logo and company name.

  • Graphic design of your logo and company name.
  • If you have a graphic designer in-house or if you’re working with an agency, make sure they understand that the project is important to you and that they take the time to do it right. Ask them if they have examples of other companies who have successfully used graphic design in their branding (e.g., Uber, Airbnb). Make sure that your logo and company name are unique and original–the last thing you want is for someone else to be able to claim copyright over something because it looks similar enough that consumers could confuse one company’s product or service with another’s.


By taking the time to copyright your intellectual property, you’ll be able to protect it from being stolen or used without your permission. While this may seem like an unnecessary step for small businesses with limited resources, it only takes a few minutes and can help protect your company’s brand identity in the long run.

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