From trade secrets to patents, trademarks, and copyrights, intellectual properties (IPs) are the lifeline of any business. IPs determine your competitiveness and strategic position in the product and labor markets. How well you protect your new invention or idea can be the difference between attracting investors and watching someone build a strong and successful brand from your idea without getting a dime.
While the desire to let the world know your revolutionary invention may be overpowering, protect your idea first before running to the rooftop to shout. Below are some of the best ways to protect your intellectual property in 2020:
Safely Secure Your IP
With the understanding that your IP is the lifeline of your business, go out of your way to ensure that it is secured safely. Sensitize your employees on the need to secure the IP. Negligence and accidents are some of the commonest ways employees can expose your IP to individuals with nefarious intentions. Ensure that all your IPs are properly labeled. Invest in a safe server for digital storage or an archive room. Access to these locations should be tracked and limited using physical barriers, passwords, or access keys. Software tools can also help in tracking and locating your IP and any sensitive company files.
File for Local and International Patents
Consult a professional Condo Roccia attorney specializing in IP Law and have your patents registered locally and internationally to avoid conflicts. When you come up with a new idea, always ensure that you are the first to file with the authorities. Securing your rights will also ensure that your business stands a better chance of attracting local and international investors. Nothing builds investor confidence than a great idea that is fully and legally patented. Patenting also saves you the headache of legal battles that can easily dishearten some startups or inventors. In some cases, securing your copyrights will also save you from having to extend the same internationally. Locally registered patents are sometimes recognized internationally.
Liaise with your attorney to craft a carefully and intentionally worded nondisclosure agreement. Ensure that all your employees and business associates and partners sign the contract. Your intellectual property can easily be stolen, released to the public, or accessed by your competitor if you don’t have a strong nondisclosure agreement. Such an agreement also gives a legal reference point in case of conflicts. All licenses and contracts originating from your business must include a nondisclosure clause.
Keep your Patent Secret
While keeping your patent top secret may sound like a 19th-century idea, passed by time and technology, it still carries the magic of secrecy. With technological advancements, crafty individuals will always work around your published patent. Failing to file a patent will ensure that it remains a secret.
The bloodline of every business lies in its trade secrets, trademarks, patents, and copyrights. A company may spend millions of dollars on marketing and hiring the best employees. However, all such efforts will bear no long-lasting fruits if the company’s intellectual property (IP) is not legally protected. Therefore, legal advice is one of the things your business should be spending money on when it comes to IP protection.