Have you recently come up with a brilliant innovative idea? Regardless of your eagerness to shout the idea from the rooftops, you have to find the most suitable way to protect your intellectual property (IP). Intellectual property protection provides innovators with various forms of protecting artistic ideas, designs, and inventions, ensuring that these won’t be copied by other individuals.

The most common types of IP protection are undoubtedly copyright, patent, and trademarks, which safeguard different aspects of the invention. When employing your innovative idea to set up a business, you should execute non-disclosure agreements to ensure confidentiality. You could hire an intellectual property lawyer, such as https://www.tatonettiip.com, to provide you with legal assistance in terms of contract drafting.

These are the most efficient ways of protecting intellectual property.

Identify the type of intellectual property

The initial step to protecting your intellectual property is getting familiar with the forms of IP protection in order to identify the type that suits your creative work. There are three fundamental categories of intellectual property protection, those being copyright, patents, and trademarks. You could opt for one category or all three in case your work requires various types of IP protection.

Copyright refers to the protection of artistic ideas from the moment you manifested your idea into creative work. It enables you to prevent people from copying your work, as the minute someone steals your idea, he/ she infringes your copyright.

Anyhow, if another person has an identical idea, which he /she didn’t create by copying your work, this person is not held responsible for infringing your copyright. Therefore, you’re advised to register your idea as soon as you produce one since it’s the sole way to prove ownership of your intellectual property in court.

Patent protection is the most appropriate method of protecting intellectual property in the form of a unique product, machine, process, or material. It prohibits other people from making, selling, or using your invention as long as it becomes patented. However, having an invention patented might be an extremely challenging procedure, as you’d be obliged to prove that your invention is unprecedented.

Moreover, it’s paramount for your idea to be founded, not entirely abstract. Patent examiners aren’t exactly fond of inventions that are overly abstract, particularly the ones that lack application. Bear in mind that you’d have to present your invention in a way it proves to be helpful to other people.

invention

Furthermore, the patent process differs in accordance with your invention, but most patents are legitimate up to twenty years after submitting your application. Click here to learn more about the laws, application, and prosecution of patents.

Trademark protection refers to protecting logos, brand names, and designs that aid business to be recognized by the target audience so as to raise brand awareness. Once you start using the trademark on your product, it automatically becomes your intellectual property, debarring other businesses from using it.

Anyhow, in order to make sure that other companies won’t claim ownership of your trademark, you‘re advised to register it with the trademark office. Prior to the registration process, have a consultation with a lawyer who specializes in the field of IP law so as to guide you through the piles of paperwork.

Register the business name

If your ultimate goal is setting up a business based on your intellectual property, you’re supposed to register the business name that is related to the IP. You’re also expected to register the name of the product and domain, which are indispensable aspects of your innovation. Make sure you don’t delay the process of registering these names, as other people might produce a similar idea in the meantime.

Execute confidentiality and non-disclosure contracts 

Executing confidentiality disclosure agreements as well as non-disclosure agreements with your employees is essential for preventing business information from being leaked to the public. Confidentiality agreements are supposed to be signed before the launch of the product in order for the people working on the project to be legally bound not to disclose crucial information.

crucial information

In addition, you’re also expected to sign a licensing agreement in the case of granting access to your products to a third party. This partner would have your permission to use, sell, and distribute your product, thus being obliged to comply with your restrictions when using your IP. It’s paramount to consult a lawyer before signing a licensing agreement so as to protect all aspects of your intellectual property.

Educate your employees about IP

Apart from signing confidentiality disclosure agreements, you have to make your employees more aware of the importance of intellectual property protection by organizing special training. Such training is essential for teaching the employees about the multiple ways in which they can leak crucial information due to negligence.

For instance, the most common way of leaking sensitive information is through both external and corporate emails. It’s highly probable for an employee to send a confidential email to the wrong address or forward the email to the wrong person.

Say no to joint ownership

Intellectual property is not necessarily owned by one person, as it might be developed by more than one party. In such cases, all parties have equal control of the trademark, copyright, or patent of the innovation. Joint ownership indicates that every party is allowed to make its own decisions regarding their IP without previous consultation with the rest of the owners.

Moreover, joint ownership is particularly inauspicious for businesses, as all the profit is shared equally among the parties. In most cases, the parties become too preoccupied with profit that they neglect the protection of their intellectual property. Therefore, the wisest idea would be avoiding joint ownership by deciding to transfer the IP ownership to one party. Due to the sensitivity of the situation, all entities are required to hire lawyers that would assist them in signing favorable agreements.

Wrap up

Innovative ideas are supposed to be registered to prohibit other people from stealing them!

Make sure you do that!

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Mashum

Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at MashumMollah.com.