With so many companies, products, and ideas being developed every day, it is very important that one protects their intellectual property. That is, if you have any kind of idea or creation you could profit from, it is crucial that you legally protect it so that no one takes it and makes money from it, without having your permission. Moreover, if you are investing in creations and ideas, it is very important that you protect your rights so that you get the profits you deserve.
How you will protect your intellectual property depends on its nature. It is not always so simple to decide what type of protection best suits you. Some types only require one type of protection. On the other hand, there are types of intellectual property that might require two or more methods of protection. The goal of all of this is to secure your full economic benefit. If you are interested in protecting your intellectual property and investment, read through these 7 things that are important for doing so.
Tips To Protect Your Intellectual Property And Investment
1. Incorporating Your Company
If you are planning to launch a service or product to the market, there are a few things you need to do. One of the most important ones is the incorporation of your company. This step is very important in the protection of your assets. Moreover, if there is more than one founder, you will be able to define your shareholding percentage. This will prevent any disputes that would probably occur later on if these percentages were not well-defined. Lastly, if you would like to have the flexibility to issue shares to new investors, or maybe even run an employee share scheme, make sure to incorporate your company as early as possible.
2. Trademark Protection
To protect your logo, a phrase, picture, or anything else that uniquely identifies your company, you will use trademark protection. Even though a trademark does not have to be registered, if you ever need to enforce it in court, you will not be able to prove that you were the first one who used it if you do not register it. When you protect your trademark, others will not be allowed to use it. But, remember that you need to file proof that you are still using the mark every ten years if you wish to maintain a registered trademark.
3. Patent Protection
New materials, processes, or a combination of both can be protected as patents. Just as trademarks, patents are protected for a certain period of time, which is usually 20 years. In that time, nobody is allowed to use your invention without your authorization, and you will be able to profit any time that somebody does.
4. Avoiding Joint Ownership
Even though it will sometimes have to happen, try to avoid joint ownership of the intellectual property if you are able to. This type of ownership could make it difficult to protect, and usually, all parties involved get hurt later on.
5. Keep A record Of Everything
If you want to protect your intellectual property from theft or any unwanted loss, it is crucial that you keep a record of the progress made at regular intervals. These can include the making of your idea, all meetings you had about it, the location of them, the names of people involved in the meetings, and so on. All of this will allow you to have evidence giving you the ownership of your idea, or a product. That is, if someone else shows up with the same idea, you will have a detailed record of the whole process.
6. Consult An Expert
There are, of course, general rules that are important when it comes to the protection of your intellectual property and investments. However, depending on the type of service or product you are providing, these rules will most likely vary. This is why it is always a good idea to hire an attorney who can give you useful advice. It might seem like it is just an extra cost, but if you want to avoid losses in the future, it is a smart move to consult an expert.
7. Make Sure To Get Strong Non-Disclosure Agreements
To properly cover your intellectual property, it is very important that you create strong non-disclosure agreements. Make sure to get assistance with these, as it is important that they are well-written. Also, consider any additional agreements, licenses, or sale contracts that could benefit you as well.
Protecting your intellectual property and investments is very important no matter what kind of service or product you are offering. If you do it properly, you will be able to get all the profits you are entitled to. And of course, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to hire an expert to help you!