Intellectual property is equally as important to safeguard as anything physical. Also called IP, it refers to any product or work you created from your original thoughts, like artwork, designs, manuscripts, inventions, blog posts, product names, and online programs.
Getting the Protection You Need for Intellectual Property
No matter what you have to protect, there are a few things you can do to protect your intellectual property. Doing so will reduce your chances of encountering intellectual property theft. In the event that someone does steal your IP, you’ll be protected.
Keep Your Ideas a Secret
You’re likely excited about your idea, design, or product. Naturally, you’ll want to talk about it with everyone, but until you secure your intellectual property, you shouldn’t say a word. The only exception is if they sign a nondisclosure agreement.
Trusting anyone with your important information before you’ve secured your intellectual property means they could take your ideas as their own. Even worse, you do not want to promote your idea or item in a public forum. This is especially true if you’re working with partners. In this case, you can sign tailored non-disclosure agreements overseen by an attorney.
The worst thing you can do is put your product or idea up on Kickstarter. Anyone can take it from there, and then you will lose out on your original creation.
Document Everything in Detail
When you create an original piece of intellectual property, you should keep all records from the start. This can include detailed drawings of your logo or design; descriptions of the product design; and plans and records that show you were the one who came up with the idea.
Having this kind of proof will help if someone tries to challenge you as the rightful owner of the trademark or copyright. However, it will be much easier to do if everything you have to back up your creations has a date stamp. Especially when it comes to the first date of bringing your intellectual property into existence, this date is what truly matters to prove you thought of it first.
Get a Trademark
Once you have your business name, logo, design, or product, you shouldn’t hesitate to trademark them. This can also protect you from foreign fakes trying to capitalize on your ideas. Additionally, you’ll have the leading advantage over any competitors.
Make a Registration
In addition to obtaining trademarks, you should register the rest of your assets. It can be a complicated process to ensure you have everything done right. With the help of an experienced intellectual property attorney, you can distinguish your ideas from any existing similar ideas. It may also benefit you to do an IP audit to have formal documentation of your IP portfolio.
Hire an Intellectual Property Lawyer
When you have a great idea, product, or design, you want to ensure that no one uses it without your permission. Intellectual property attorneys can help you navigate the legalities to protect your IP, so no one but you profits from your creation.
Even if you are fairly certain you have never seen anything like your idea, product, or design before, don’t let the cat out of the bag. Anyone can take your idea and profit from it until you have officially secured your intellectual property. There will always be opportunists looking to take advantage of others, but you’ll have them beat if you protect your intellectual property.
As the intricacies of these laws can be extremely complex, an intellectual property attorney experienced in these matters can ensure you’re fully protected. You could try to do it yourself, but without a deep knowledge of trademarks, copyrights, and how to protect intellectual property, you may leave yourself vulnerable.
If your idea will make you money, you must protect in it right now to officially document and register it before it’s too late. This way, you can use your ideas in the way you envisioned.