Below is a link to an article titled “10 Intellectual Property Strategies for Technology Startups”. It’s a decent overview article, long on basics and light on real “strategies,” but this is passage stuck out for me:
“Technology startups frequently ignore the value of non-patent intellectual property…Trade secrets, cybersecurity policies, trademarks, and copyrights can all be forms of IP that can be protected.”
Setting aside some confusing language about “forms of IP” (vs. types of IP protection), I agree that some tech startups can be too patent-focused. Software companies, in particular, can fall into the trap of assuming that if their software isn’t patentable, or if seeking a patent is too expensive, there isn’t much they can do in terms of IP protection. Copyright and contracts (licenses) are powerful and, in my experience, under-utilized tools for the protection and leveraging of software IP assets.
The author hits another favorite theme of mine: make sure that IP rights are clear from the outset. This includes pre-existing IP that founders contribute to the venture and new IP that is developed within the company.