Advice for Using a Intellectual Property Agreement with Clients
Intellectual property is valuable — for many business owners, this property defines their brand, their reputation, and can also be a primary way for their business to earn money. Protecting intellectual property is never easy and therefore, it is always a good idea to have a standalone intellectual property agreement template in the event the need arises to have one signed.Download Template
We will address the following:
- What is Intellectual Property (IP)?
- When IP Could be Jeopardized
- How To Structure an Intellectual Property Agreement
- Is an IP Agreement Template Right for You?
- Useful Resources
What is Intellectual Property?
When a company holds a patent, that is considered intellectual property. however, there are other forms of intellectual property which must be preserved for the benefit of the owner. Some of those include:
- Logos — a company logo is how customers often identify with a company. Your logo is your identity and therefore considered intellectual property.
- Slogans — if your company has a slogan as part of its identity, that slogan can be considered intellectual property.
- Internal Processes — if your company has internal processes it uses for purposes of creating a product or offering a service they may be considered intellectual property.
Typically, intellectual property may be considered anything considered works of the mind. Writings including song lyrics, blog posts, and even social media posts can fall under this category.
When IP Could be Jeopardized
Most small business owners never think twice about hiring someone to handle a marketing campaign, hire a freelancer to create blog posts or prepare website content, or deliver a business plan to a potential lender. However, in all of these cases, if you do not have a contract with projections for your intellectual property, it could be at risk. IP agreement templates can help you customize a specific agreement to ensure your property is not placed in jeopardy or potential jeopardy.
How to Structure an Intellectual Property Agreement
A properly structured IP agreement can save you from having your valuable assets open for the public to use without your being aware of it. In the event you have used a properly structured IP agreement template, you can ensure you have the legal right to hold someone accountable. The following are the typical elements of an intellectual property agreement:
- Legal names and contact information of involved parties
- Acknowledgement that continued relationship is contingent on agreement
- Recognition that you intend to share confidential information with the other party
- Assurances that derivative works, add-ons, etc. are part of the original property
- Prohibiting solicitation of additional business based on use of your intellectual property
- Provision binding respective successors and assigns to the same contract
- Acknowledgement of third-parties obligations including government actors
- Governing law of agreement
- Defining captioning of agreement
- Exhibits clearly outlining property which is being disclosed
- Relationship of the parties (e.g. typically independent contractor)
These agreements must be carefully thought out to ensure you are taking every precaution available to you to have your property protected against use by a bad actor.
Is an IP Agreement Template Right for You?
For most purposes, an IP agreement template will provide you the protection you need. These stand-alone documents can be used in place of non-disclosure agreements and may be used when hiring a marketing firm, a freelancer, or when disclosing trade secrets for the purposes of obtaining financing.
- What is Intellectual Property?
- 5 Expert Tips for Protecting Your Intellectual Property
- Copyright Infringement: Are You Stealing Intellectual Property?
- Freelancers: How to Protect Your Intellectual Property
- How to Protect Your Intellectual Property and 4 Other Legal Issues You Can’t Afford to Ignore
Obtaining Signatures for Legal Protections
Once you have completed the customization of your IP agreement template, the agreement should be reviewed by the parties involved. If you are both satisfied with the modified wording of the intellectual property agreement template, then the time has come to obtain signatures.
Now is the time to gather signatures from both parties. E-signing is secure, easy to do, and helps finalize your agreement. You can use Nitro Sign to get your agreement finalized quickly and easily today.