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Protecting intellectual property with a prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements are excellent tools if you wish to protect tangible property or well-defined assets as separate property in your marriage. However, they are also very useful ways to protect intellectual property within marriage, which might prove useful to a number of individuals.

If, for instance, one spouse in a marriage has some idea or discipline of study that he or she has worked on for many years, including time before the marriage. A prenuptial agreement may help protect assets developed from these ideas as separate property, just as the underlying ideas are separate.

Similarly, one spouse or the other may have creative works he or she plans to make someday. A prenuptial agreement can prove very useful in protecting these passion projects from undue influence from a spouse, and may protect any number of assets developed from the protected idea. In some cases, a couple may even choose to set aside certain types of work or works created in a certain time period. For instance, you might stipulate that you retain sole rights to any assets that arise from the writing of that novel that you've been thinking about finishing since college. Similarly, you might stipulate that any book you write at all, or any work based a certain idea belongs solely to you.

If you have intellectual property you hope to protect, be sure to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as you can. Prenuptial agreements must finalize before the marriage is official in order to offer their full scope of protections, so it important to make sure that you have enough time to properly craft and finalize your agreement. An experienced lawyer can help ensure that you and your spouse reach fair agreements that protect each other and relationship as a whole.

Source: Findlaw, "Do You Need an IP Prenup to Protect Ideas?," accessed Nov. 03, 2017

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