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Why Do Startup Companies Need Intellectual Property Lawyers?

Lawyers play an integral role in helping startups develop rapidly and protect their creations. Startup lawyers have an acute business sense and a desire to truly learn about the business plan, people, and finances of the companies they represent. Startup lawyers also have an in-depth understanding of the different business organizations and all the ways to protect intellectual property rights including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Startup lawyers can keenly express the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of each business organization and IP category to their client.

Startup lawyers appreciate that new businesses are often tight on cash, but a little money spent now is a lot of money saved and hassle avoided in the future. Startup lawyers can help new businesses properly structure their company, spot potential legal liabilities, and adequately explain why it is always best to have a protect-first, defend-second strategy. As such, startup lawyers are a necessary expenditure that will protect a startup company’s IP by filing copyrights, searching trademarks, prosecuting patent applications, or developing strategies to protect trade secrets in hopes of avoiding expensive litigation in the future.

Once the client has a working foundational knowledge of the available options, the lawyer will help the startup craft an individualized approach that factors in the company’s product or service, the maturity of the company and its entrepreneurs, market conditions, available capital, and competition while also providing the company with flexible solutions that will lead to growth and prevent infringement.

After IP registration has been filed, startups may question the value of these intangible rights. Startup lawyers counsel clients on the fluctuation of the value of a startup’s IP over time, and they assist the client in understanding the cause behind delays in registration and in addressing the cause of those delays. Most importantly, startup lawyers have the knowledge necessary to estimate a rough probability of whether IP rights can be obtained, and startup lawyers have the experience required to create a plan of action in the event that an application is denied.


About: DJ turned JD highlights the latest legal updates in the entertainment and media industries, intellectual property, the internet and social media. The blawg is compiled and curated by Bobby Desmond. After working as a radio personality, Bobby attended the University of Florida Levin College of Law in order to pursue an in-house legal career at an entertainment or media corporation. He has interned at PBS with America’s Public Television Stations in Arlington, VA and at AMC Networks in New York, NY. He graduated in May 2018 and passed the New York Bar Exam in July 2018.