Small businesses are often dissuaded from patenting their creations because of the costs involved. Obtaining a US patent is an expensive undertaking that involves thousands of dollars in legal fees and filing costs, not to mention the time of the inventors. Many small businesses go without patent protection in order to forego these expenses. However, this puts them at a disadvantage in negotiations with prospective business partners, or when they later try to obtain a patent.
Trade secrets are usually the most important intellectual property of any business. However, these are seldom as protected as they ought to be. Customer lists, proprietary software and computer systems, or marketing strategies are often crucial to winning a competitive advantage. These assets may be difficult or impractical to protect with patents, copyrights, or trademarks, but can be maintained as trade secrets.
The Making Home Affordable Program introduced by the Obama Administration strives to keep homeowners in their homes by lowering their monthly payments. The current economic crisis has caused many Americans to fall behind in their mortgages and risk foreclosure. Lenders as well as borrowers incur great losses during a foreclosure. Thus, the mortgage modification program was conceived in conjunction with dozens of lenders, investors, and loan servicers.