It depends on what you’re really trying to protect. If it’s your company name, logo or slogan then registering for a trademark would be helpful. If you’re a new comic book company or a movie studio then registering your copyrights would be the move. Patents can help a bunch of different industries. If you have a new / novel item then it might be patentable. If you’re just starting out then a provisional patent might be your best option. A provisional patent application provides you with an earlier filing date if you file for a corresponding non-provisional patent application within a year. In your situation, you have to be careful with rules on public disclosure. Drafting up a solid non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a common mechanism to protect your IP too. An NDA requires those that deal with your company to keep things quiet, and to keep trade secrets actually secret. For a full analysis of what you should do - speak to a lawyer to be safe.