Patents and Copyrights: How to Play By the Rules Serial entrepreneur Mike Jones shares his insight on protecting your startup.

By Mike Jones

entrepreneur daily

Editor's Note: YoungEntrepreneur's Ask the Expert column seeks to answer questions about everything from starting a business to growth strategies. To follow the column on Twitter -- and ask a question -- use hashtag #YEask, or leave a comment below. Your query may be the inspiration for a future column.

Q: I'm in the beginning stages of starting up a new tech business and want to make sure I'm playing by the rules. What do I need to know about patents and copyrights?
-- James Bowerman
Pasadena, Md.

A: You should always talk to an attorney about specifics, but generally, I find that there are two schools of thought when it comes to patents. I've worked with a few entrepreneurs that are very focused on upfront patent protection and analysis. But, most entrepreneurs I come across throw caution to the wind, build what they want to build and deal with the consequences afterwards.

Copyrights, on the other hand, are much more frequently enforced in the early startup stages. I would be highly conservative when thinking through how you reference other people's content. I have seen startups get cease and desist letters when referencing celebrity brands or at times using unauthorized photos for their startup.

Though, there is a history of entrepreneurs launching businesses in the digital space on top of other people's intellectual property, through community-sourced content. Although in the past, these startups bought enough time to get to scale then negotiate their deals, I think this time in history has passed. I caution against the "ask for forgiveness later" theory when it relates to content copyrights.

Submit your questions in the comments section below and those with the most likes from other readers will be answered. On Twitter, use the hashtag #YEask. Please include your first and last name, your location (city and state) and the name of your business in your comment.

Mike Jones

CEO of Science, Inc.

Mike Jones is CEO of Science, Inc., a Los Angeles-based technology studio that nurtures successful digital businesses by bringing together the best ideas, talent, resources and financing through a centralized platform. Jones, a long-time entrepreneur and former CEO of Myspace, has founded, advised, invested in and sold numerous businesses. He has personally invested in more than 30 startup businesses, including Klout, Betterworks, Formspring, ShoeDazzle and LunchMoney.

 

 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.

Business Solutions

Get More Done with ChatGPT for Just $20

This ChatGPT course can help you streamline your business.

Growing a Business

Lifetime Access to Business Advice with This AI-Powered Service is Just $29.99

With Consultio Pro, you'll find expertise on topics like data analysis, financial analysis, innovation management, and so much more.

Business News

Here Are 3 Strategies Startup Founders Can Use to Approach High-Impact Disputes

The $7 billion "buy now, pay later" startup Klarna recently faced a public board spat. Here are three strategies to approach conflict within a business.