3 Tips for Protecting Your New Product at SEMA

Launching a new product involves lots of creativity and hard work. The lead-up to a trade show like SEMA is exciting. During this time, however, it is essential that you take steps to protect the intellectual property you’ll be proudly displaying at the show. If you don’t, all of your hard work could be for naught because copycats and would-be infringers could get their hands on your ideas and sell them as their own.

So, how do you protect your intellectual property at trade shows such as SEMA? We have several recommendations to get you started.

  1. Prepare a budget for IP protection.

There are government fees associated with the registration of copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Copyrights are inexpensive to register, while trademark registration and patent registration fees are often significantly higher. In your budgeting, set aside a sufficient amount to pay for these costs as well as for the attorneys’ fees you will incur during the registration process. 

 These upfront costs are more than worth it, as protecting your intellectual property from misappropriation and infringement will save you far more in the long run. Having your work stolen by competitors can cost you astronomical amounts of income.

  1. Understand the difference between copyrights, trademarks, and patents, and decide which one is right for your situation.

Different types of intellectual property require different registrations and are subject to distinct laws and protections. On a very basic level, you can distinguish between the three main types of IP assets  this way:

  • Copyrights are for literary and artistic works.
  • Trademarks are for logos, brand names, and taglines.
  • Patents are for inventions.

These broad generalizations notwithstanding,  there is often overlap and gray areas as to what kinds of intellectual property protection you might need. It’s best to get the input of an intellectual property lawyer who can help you navigate your unique situation.

  1. Be prepared to enforce your intellectual property rights.

While properly registering your intellectual property will put you in a good position to protect your rights, it won’t necessarily stop others from attempting to steal or profit from your IP assets. That’s why you need to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for potential infringement at SEMA and other trade shows, even though they have strict policies against counterfeit or knockoff products. 

If you do discover an act of infringement or misappropriation, you need to be ready to take swift action to enforce your rights and preserve the value of your IP assets. Having an experienced intellectual property attorney on your side is essential

How do I get started? At BRADFORD, LTD we have the knowledge and experience to help you protect your intellectual property assets from infringement at SEMA and beyond. We understand the care and effort you put into your products and will put that same level of care and effort into protecting your ideas. Contact our firm at (720) 221-4545 to get started! 

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Bradford LTD specializes in IP protections and maximization for startups and small businesses. We also provide scaled legal services to our clients, including fractional legal counsel and value-based rates. From trademark, copyright and service mark protections to patent protection and outside inside counsel, we help position entrepreneurs and owners for long-term success.

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