Companies that are seeking investment generally have better odds of receiving funding if they have protected their intellectual property. Intellectual property is either the product idea itself or any proprietary knowledge in creating or marketing the product. Businesses have many options when it comes to protecting IP such as asking for a non-disclosure agreement or assignment of IP to the company.
Startups should be aware that without a patent, other companies can independently develop a product or come up with an idea without consequence. Furthermore, a competitor may then be able to patent that idea and sue any other companies that infringe upon it. Therefore, companies who believe that they have an idea to create or modify an existing product need to pursue protection of their intellectual property as soon as possible.
Intellectual property can include a wide range of ideas including developing new products or simply creating new processes to make an existing product. An attorney might possibly work with a startup or any company that is pursuing a patent or other forms of protection of their trade secrets or other proprietary information. Legal counsel might be able to help determine if a patent already exists or if an idea is eligible for patent protection at all.