Join Us In Celebrating National Small Business Week 2016

It’s that time of year again and National Small Business Week starts this week May 1-6! As a partner and supporter, WIPP is excited to share with you some of this weeks live and online events:

Live Event Locations




  • Taking the Mystery out of Voluntary Benefits
  • The Decline of Magstripe Cards—and What That Means for Your Business


  • Cloud, Mobile, and Social: Great Apps and Services That Will Grow Your Business


  • Access to Capital and Business Loans: Best Practices


  • Tips for Getting Your Business Financially Fit

Click here to learn more and to register for these webinars.


To view recent news/press releases and learn how to share with your networks, click here.

We hope that you can join us this week!

Join WIPP’s Chief Advocate Ann Sullivan for an Insider’s Look at the Presidential Candidates

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Will a new President change how Washington works?  Join me Thursday for an insider’s look at the Presidential candidates and their ability to work with a new Congress and the business community.  Not only will this year’s election decide the Presidency, but control of the Senate is also in play.
Join me on March 24th at 2PM for an analysis of the upcoming elections and how you as women business owners can weigh in on issues that matter most to your business and the future through WE Decide 2016.
And don’t forget to join We Decide 2016 before the webinar – together, we will make a difference.
See you on Thursday!
Ann Sullivan
Chief Advocate for Women Impacting Public Policy
Click here to join WE Decide2016.
Click here to register for Thursday’s webinar.

Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights … Protect Your Intellectual Property

A spark of an idea is often the start for building a business. Next steps that come to mind to most people are preparing a business plan, sales and distribution model, marketing strategy, plan for building customer base, etc. However one area that is not always as straightforward is protection of the business idea, business name, or an invention from competitors. Or actually protection of everything that is encompassed by one powerful term – Intellectual Property (IP).

We all know the term but what exactly does it incorporates? According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, “IP refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.” Globally IP is divided into 2 main groups – Industrial Property (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and geographical indications) and Copyright that covers literary and artistic works such as novels, films, music, architectural designs and web pages.

USA accounts for the largest share of filed patents and trademarks applications worldwide with 28,7% and 13,8% respectively as reported by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 11.58.47 AMHowever due to complexity of IP processes small businesses account for only small proportion of the numbers. They are usually not properly protected and thus are more vulnerable to piracy, counterfeiting, and the theft of their intellectual property. Small business owners often simply don’t have access to the IP protection know-how that larger corporations do.

And according to statistics of Small Business Administration this is even truer for small businesses, which are exporting their products overseas. Only 15 percent of exporters realize that a U.S. patent only provides protection in the U.S.

Below are the basics to be followed for protecting IP overseas:

  • Overseas Patents – Almost every country has its own patent law with specific patent application process, which needs to be followed. More information about filing for an overseas patent can be found here .
  • International Trademarks – in certain countries (defined by the Madrid Protocol) trademark registration can be filed via a single application, if you are already a qualified owner of a trademark application pending before the U.S. Patent Office. If you want to protect your trademark overseas you’ll need to file for international trademark protection. More information is available here

And why is it so important to protect ones business intangibles?

Intellectual Property protection is a critical part of small business success and its current or future growth. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s web site, companies that protect their intellectual property drive more economic growth in the U.S. than any other single sector. In general, IP rights reward creativity, that fuels progress, innovation, spurs economical growth and creates jobs in return.

There are many different resources, to help you gather information on where and how to protect your intellectual property, or are a good start.

We have also a unique opportunity for you to learn more about it during our free webinar on September 21st, which will be led by expert in the IP field, Partner at Holland & Knight law firm, Thomas W. Brooke. Registration is free and open.