Start-ups, particularly those in the technology or life science sectors, rely heavily on the ownership and protection of intellectual property to establish and preserve their value. Potential investors, acquirers and commercial partners, among others, will scrutinize intellectual property to determine the value of a company. They will focus on whether a company actually owns the intellectual property it claims to own and whether the intellectual property can serve as a foothold against larger, established companies in its sector. As a result, from inception start-ups should focus on establishing a clear “chain of ownership” of their intellectual property and be thoughtful about the types of intellectual property protection they utilize. See the Dig Deeper section at right to learn about common intellectual property problems, patents and trade secrets, and trademarks.