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Steps Florida Business Owners Must Take to Protect Intellectual Property

Written on August 18, 2021

There can be no question that information is easier to access and distribute than ever, which means that it is also more challenging for Florida business owners to safeguard their intellectual property (IP). As an article in Forbes points out, your trademarks, trade dress, copyright, and patents are assets that carry value. Just as you do with the tangible items your company owns, you must invest time and effort into protecting your intellectual property. When you come up with an original idea, business model, art, writing, or concept that benefits your business, you want to make sure no one else uses it.

However, even if you understand the basics about what intellectual property is, you may not know how to prevent it from being accessed or used by someone else. You can trust a Clearwater business law attorney to handle the specific tasks, including these steps to protecting your intellectual property.

  1. Keep trade secrets and business ideas confidential. 

From the moment they spring to mind, avoid talking about IP-related ideas with anyone who has not signed a nondisclosure agreement. Depending on how they are stored, there should be limited access to trade secrets even among employees. Use of passcodes, encryption, and authentication policies can safeguard digital information; for tangible items, the traditional lock-and-key may be effective. Safeguarding your confidential information requires that you actually keep it confidential.

  1. Document the details. 

Throughout the creative and/or development process for IP, take painstaking, dated notes that prove you came up with the idea and have been working on it. Your documentation may be important proof if another person or entity challenges your ownership. If you do run into problems with misappropriation of your intellectual property, this paperwork will support the efforts of your Pinellas County business litigation lawyer in enforcing your rights.

  1. Seek official protection where available. 

United States and Florida law protects IP in certain formats, so take advantage of government options. For instance:

  • You can register trademarks through the US Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) and Florida Division of Corporations.
  • The USPTO is also your resource when seeking protection for patentable inventions, processes, and ideas.
  • Any art, writings, music, and other creative works may qualify for protection through the US Copyright Office.
  1. Conduct periodic IP audits. 

Protecting your intellectual property is an ongoing task, and it is required whenever you develop, create, or acquire it. Best practices dictate that you archive paperwork, dates, drawings, and related details according to a documented policy. Organization ensures you can conduct regular audits of your IP to check for infringement, misappropriation, and enforcement.

Count on a Clearwater, FL Business Lawyer for Help Protecting Your Intellectual Property

Once you know that your company cannot afford NOT to protect its intellectual property, you realize the importance of each of these steps. Still, the details can be challenging, so it is wise to trust our team at Clearwater Business Law to tackle essential tasks. For more information, please call (727) 785-5100 to set up a consultation with one of our business law attorneys.


I strongly endorse Andrew Mongelluzzi. He is a very skilled and able business attorney focused on customer service and results. On the front end, Andrew deftly advises new businesses on organizing properly, acquiring necessary licenses, contracting with vendors & customers, and dealing with various compliance issues that may arise. On the back end when things go south, Andrew counsels and navigates businesses through complex commercial disputes and aggressively represents them in negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and in litigation so that businesses can legally move on and get back to business. Andrew’s ability to identify legal issues and approaches to resolve business-related issues is a strength that I have learned from and professionally relied upon in approaching the business matters and cases that I handle. I regularly refer business to Andrew knowing that he will diligently represent his business clients and their best interests.
Relationship: worked together on matter

- Frank N. Genco, Florida Bar No. 440086

Attorney Mongelluzzi and his team provided excellent and quality service. I always felt that my needs were met and that the firm was invested in me and my case. The quality services I received at Mongelluzzi’s firm were remarkable. From the initial meeting they were responsive to my calls, questions and concerns. All issues were handled professionally and timely, easily accessible, got back to me quickly, aggressive and got me the results that I wanted. Attorney Mongelluzzi and his staff all gave my case their personal attention and provided the quality of work that anyone would want when hiring an attorney.

- Client

Andrew is very thorough defining the outcome expectations. In my case, it was setting up a new corporate entity. He advised me on the most beneficial option and he then executed on that path. Andrew is a very pleasant person to work with. He is determined, skilled and committed to his client’s success.

- Gil Pinney

Andrew helped me through a difficult situation with American Express and we won the case. A great job by Andrew! He also helped me with T&C’s in my company. I would recommend Andrew highly as an attorney.

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As a business owner for 12 years I have seen my fair share of ups and downs. Some of the downs would include landlord/tenant disputes and creditors that may have not been fulfilled to agreement. Andrew has met both of these situations for me in a timely, positive, and affordable manner.

- Rich Mattes

It was very nice to have a lawyer who not only is fierce in negotiations but has been successful in business. This is a lethal combination. I was glad he was on my side.

- Nigel Castanheiro

Andrew helped me with a contract litigation case. The lawyers battled it out for over a year and we finally got a reasonable settlement offer. Then the other side tried to back out. Andrew figured out how to force the other side to honor the deal and really knows his way around the court system. Definitely feel comfortable using him again.

- John Ellis


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