Your company’s – or your own – intellectual property may not matter much to you right now, but as you develop and become more successful, and as your ideas become more well-known, you will want to safeguard your intellectual property (IP) to prevent others from stealing your concepts and profiting from them. The sooner you can do this the better since it could prevent it from happening at all, and if it does happen, you will have some options when it comes to looking for legal support. Here are some things to think about when you want to safeguard your intellectual property in case the worst should happen.
Apply For A Patent
When you think of methods of protecting your intellectual property, the first thing that usually comes to mind is applying for a patent. There is a reason why this is the first thing you should do and why it’s so important; it works.
When you file a patent, you are placing your ideas and designs in a safe place. Experts will review them and issue the patent, which means that everything is protected, and if you spot that someone else is using your idea, you can stop them from using the patent. It’s essential to remember that others may attempt to work around your patent and develop something similar that isn’t violating any laws, which is why it’s a good idea to have a startup patent attorney such as the experts at Hankin Law Firm on your side. They will be able to advise on exactly the right patent to apply for.
There will always be some kind of intellectual property theft in industries such as technology (although all industries are at risk). Take a look around at all the gadgets and tools available, and you’ll find that many of them look similar to others and function in almost the same way. It’s clear that someone had the original idea, but that others had the same idea, or a similar one, or even took that first idea and made their own version.
Because of all this, protecting your intellectual property can be a big challenge, but if you are continuously inventing and innovating and keeping more than one step ahead of your competitors, it won’t matter if they take or use your ideas since you will already be about to release the next one. Making certain they can never catch up and that you will always be ahead in terms of clever thinking and new technologies means everyone will know the ideas were yours to begin with.
Allow Open Source
Allowing your idea to be open source (in other words, anyone can use it free of charge for whatever they want) might seem to be the polar opposite of safeguarding your intellectual property, yet it could actually be beneficial.
By allowing your idea to be an open-source concept, you could get a significant competitive edge. Other developers will be able to use your original plans and contribute their own ideas. All you have to do is concentrate on adding value to the original concept (the part that stays confidential). In fact, this approach could truly surprise your rivals and make them pay more attention to you, particularly if they were planning to use your ideas themselves. You will essentially have stopped them from taking your idea by giving it away for free to everyone.
Main Photo by Vojtech Okenka.