It can take companies years to develop the best processes or manufacturing tricks for their products. Whether you run a restaurant or a consulting company, your trade secrets include any proprietary information used by your company. Anything from a list of clients and customers to your exact manufacturing processes receive protection as trade secrets.
If you are starting a company or are considering hiring employees for your burgeoning enterprise, maintaining secrets and inspiring innovation are important. However, in today’s marketplace, employees come and employees go. In this environment, companies must protect their trade secrets and products that they produce from being poached by disgruntled employees. One way to do this is to have new employees sign agreements acknowledging ownership of proprietary information and ownership of intellectual property while in the employ of the company.
In the olden days (i.e. before the latest generation of smartphones became mainstream), it took a marketing company to generate a shrewd and creative marketing plan to establish a company’s brand. Nowadays, brands can be created in one’s living room. Indeed, an online presence is not terribly difficult to create, but it can be difficult to manage given the competing opinions and assumptions of an open marketplace.
While National Small Business Month is still a ways away, there is no time like the present to start a new business. In fact, many people view a new business venture as one of their New Year’s resolutions. But as you begin putting your plan into action, creating and maintaining a unique brand is likely one of your biggest questions. With that, it is important to know the difference between a trade name and a trademark.
The idea behind the adage “six degrees of separation” is that people (or things) are all related to a certain extent, and that they can be connected in a maximum of six steps. This adage becomes especially important in the world of trademarks and intellectual property, where the goal is to stand out from others a product or idea may be related to.
In today’s marketplace, being noticed counts; even if you have to refer to close cousins of four letter words that are considered “immoral” or “scandalous.” In fact, some business owners (and consumers, obviously) appreciate the play on such words. After all, businesses have a First Amendment right to expressions, even to the public, of words or slogans that others may find offensive.
The holiday season is arguably the most important for both brick-and-mortar and online retailers. With the amount of commerce conducted online, it is almost a given that counterfeits of popular items will be offered for sale, often to unsuspecting consumers.
In an age where privacy is a key component in innovation, more technology companies are advising their employees to keep their electronic communication private by using various encryption apps. These programs, such as Wickr, Telegram, Signal and Confide allow users to protect messages with passcodes available only to the intended recipient. They also are known for automatic deletion options that eliminate all copies of specified conversations within a few seconds.
Social media can be an effective tool for companies who want to expand their brand. But with such an extensive reach, social media may unfortunately be a platform for those who sell counterfeit goods under the guise of an established brand. This can lead to consumers purchasing fake goods or relying upon false information, leaving the brand owner to deal with the fallout.
An entrepreneur may look like he or she has everything to be successful in the business world: market intelligence, motivational skills, a gift for leadership, and most of all, confidence. It may seem like an entrepreneur is born with these attributes; or a person just has is or they don’t. But the truth is that these successful skills are developed over time; mostly by avoiding mistakes and learning from the ones that are made.