There are times when you suddenly think of a creative idea that you think can be very useful. You don’t know if such idea will be your key to starting a business venture. But you know that the idea you have in mind is so innovative and so revolutionary that you want to make sure nobody steals it from you. However, how can it be stolen from you if nobody knows it’s there to begin with? This is where intellectual property comes in.
Intellectual Property or IP is a legal concept about things our mind create for which there exclusive rights. The term ‘intellectual’ can refer to intangible assets like musical and artistic works, inventions, and even words and symbols. Although discovering a new idea can be very exciting, they are only of value if you can protect them as your own. Here are tips to make sure the product of your eureka moment is protected:
File for protection – You can be faced with several options when filing it: patent, trademark, or copyright. A patent for something you invented doesn’t grant the right to make, use, sell, or import. However, it excludes others from doing them. A trademark is simply a name, a word, or even a symbol that is used as an indicator of the source of goods to distinguish them from the goods of others. A copyright, on the other hand, provides protection of the author or creator’s original work.
Get a lawyer – It’s really worth your money to hire the services of a lawyer that has intellectual property as his area of specialization. Look for someone with extensive experience on the area. Ask a friend or someone you trust for his/her recommendation.
Be familiar with intellectual property – Whether or not you’re getting the services of a lawyer, it’s also smart to seek knowledge on the subject. Read everything you can about intellectual property and your rights. Particularly read on local laws that govern IP in your state or country.
Don’t present your idea half-baked – Just like you don’t want to eat a literally half-baked cake, you also don’t want to present an idea that’s not complete. Be sure to fully develop whatever great idea you have before presenting it to the world. Don’t get carried away by that eureka moment by immediately launching it. Aside from determining the strengths and weaknesses of your work, you should also know exactly who your target market is and if there’s a similar creation out there that may challenge yours.
These are just some of the steps you can take to make sure that great idea you have is protected and remains yours for as long as you want it.