If you value your business assets as you should – inventions, designs, trade name, ideas, etc. – then, you will understand that signing a joint venture agreement cannot be a DIY activity. The first step to take in order to protect your business’s intellectual property (IP) is getting professional help. A business lawyer will shield your initial assets, license them, and gain new rights for the IP created during the venture.

 

Protect the Intellectual Property you bring to the table

 

First, the professionals you hire should conduct an Intellectual Property due diligence, to identify the assets (patents, registered designs, trademarks or copyrights) that each company contributes to the joint venture.

  1. As a general rule, the rights to any IP you bring to a partnership stays in your hands, you being the original owner.
  2. Before sharing any production details or trade secrets in the new venture, make sure that all your assets are registered and protected.
  3. However, if some of your initial patents or registered designs are necessary in the development of the new venture’s products, then licensed rights need to be negotiated with your partner.

 

Work out the IP created during the partnership

 

Any assets developed during the joint venture should be accounted for before the new business starts.

  1. Discuss how you want the IP rights to be assigned: this could include dividing ownership and/or agreeing on a licensing system.
  2. In most joint venture cases, the partners decide to divide the IP rights on a percentage basis. You should determine these percentages before the development of a new partnership.
  3. Also, outline an exit plan for the venture, in which you should again consider the IP rights.
To find out more about how to protect your intellectual property and patents during a joint venture in California, get in touch with our experts in IP and asset protection!

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6/27/18, FindLaw.com

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We received a letter from an attorney representing an ex employee from years ago. This letter couldn’t have come at a worse time for our family. Although the ex-employee had no substance in their case and this was mostly a nuisance, we felt very vulnerable and unprepared. I reached out to a few lawyers for a quote and their retainer fees alone were deal breakers. When I reached Thomas Gallagher, he approached my case from a completely different angle and walked me through the many small steps we would take to get through this issue. Within the first conversation I felt like I had a plan of attack, an attorney I could trust, and that our family was protected. Our case ended up never going to court. In fact, Thomas was able to resolve the entire issue within a week. I am extremely happy with the results from this potential lawsuit, but even happier knowing my family and business is now protected by a lawyer than can get the job done.

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