Is your business built on ideas that need protecting? If you’re developing new software products or producing recordings of your original music, the answer is obviously yes. But suppose you own an accounting firm, a dental practice, or a restaurant? It’s not so obvious, but the answer is still yes. Simply put, any trademark (including “trade dress” or a product’s look and feel), copyright, patent, or trade secret that you own is intellectual property that should be protected.
Clearly, a software firm’s products should be patented and a musician’s songs need copyright protection. But an accountant’s client list is also a trade secret; a dentist’s distinctive logo should be trademarked; and a restaurant’s owner will want to protect the recipe for its secret sauce.