Creating a dedicated intellectual property (IP) strategy can help a company protect one of its most valuable assets. Without an IP strategy, a company may misallocate resources to inefficient protection measures. Even worse, they may have lapses in their protection, and fail to account for important pieces of their IP entirely

Despite this, many companies neglect to create an IP strategy for their business. Here are three steps to take to form an IP strategy that is tailored to your business:

1. What do you want to protect? The first step to coming up with an IP strategy is deciding what you want to protect. These can include trade secrets, technologies and industry know-how. It is important to itemize what you want to protect so that you do not neglect certain segments of your IP.

2. How do you want to protect it? There are many ways to go about protecting your IP. Over the last several decades, IP methods have gotten increasingly sophisticated. From patents to defensive publishing, you will want to make sure that you employ the right measures for your intellectual property. How you choose to protect your IP will depend on your goals. For example, an artist may want to copyright their works to prevent others from using it without paying royalties. An inventor will most likely want to file patents for new technologies.

3. Where do you want to protect it? Protecting IP often requires a significant amount of resources. Furthermore, patents, trademarks and other IP rights only apply in the country that they are registered. This means that you will want to carefully consider where you want to register your protection.

How an attorney can help

When it comes to intellectual property (IP), a little foresight can have a big impact on a company’s short-term gain and long-term prospects.

An experienced IP attorney can help you develop all three aspects of an IP strategy. They can advise you on your specific business goals and needs and help implement your tailored IP strategy.

Furthermore, if issues ever do arise in the future—with another company, a former employee, etc.—your lawyer will already have an intimate and holistic working knowledge of your company’s IP measures and can quickly respond to crises with informed advice.