Intellectual property is the idea that creates assets for businesses. It is the sole talent of an individual to come up with a money-making idea and convert it into a profit. The problem these individuals and companies face is that the world will try to steal ideas and claim them as their own. You may ask, how do I protect myself, my idea, and my product or company?
The law covers these issues and more regarding staking a claim for a profitable idea. There are several things a person can do who has that million-dollar idea to prevent others from profiting from their initial vision and concept.
However, it is essential to understand that although a person cannot steal a copyrighted or patented idea, others can still come along and improve it. They cannot copy the concept or original idea and create the same intellectual property or IP. Otherwise, they will suffer litigation.
Label the Intellectual Property as Classified
The best thing for a person with IP is to remain silent at all costs until the big day of the reveal. If more people know about the idea before the security process is completed with ownership rights, they will try to claim it as their idea. It is one of the hardest things to do because those with a profitable idea want to share their joy with others. Keeping the IP low-key and highly classified is critical during the entire process.
Register All Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks
Some government websites assist in DIY procedures, but the safest way to protect the IP is through an attorney who knows how to handle the steps. Copyrights are owned initially at the point of creation and meant for creativity, but registration is the only way to protection in the courtrooms. Patents protect items like machines and other unique inventions that others never had the concept of. Trademarks are used for marketing and business identification and come in the form of logos and other symbols applicable to the IP.
Keep Documents and Information in Writing and Detailed
Dates and details are critical in the legal world of copyrights, patents, and trademarks. They refer to the establishment of the IP. Keeping these documents and information safe will ensure added legal protection and help the attorney draw up the paperwork. It is necessary for any court case that may arise in the future. The lawyer will refer to the written documentation if someone tries to steal the IP.
Create Non-Disclosures, Contracts, and Licenses
Only lawyers/paralegals can legally draw up non-disclosure agreements, contracts, and licenses that will hold up before a judge if a breach occurs. Suppose the secret has to go before other individuals, such as workers or manufacturers. In that case, contracts or non-disclosure agreements are signed by all parties to keep quiet about all information.
Some licenses may be needed to create or sell the IP. Attorneys can obtain the paperwork required to get these licenses to allow the company to do business within a jurisdiction or state. They can represent their client and work to fill out the paperwork and have the creator of the IP sign off to receive the certifications.
Plan and Make Investments
Money is required to legally and logically sell the IP to the public. Certifications, paperwork, materials, employees, and other strategies take much planning to establish a business and even marketing the idea or products. Knowing the budget is critical, and not having enough can shut everything down for a while or slow the process down quite a bit.
Most people or business owners utilize their funds or may take out business loans to get the idea rolling. Some may get outside help from investors, but this is not the wisest decision. Over time, investors can gain capital and take control of the business even though the owner has full rights to the IP. This is how most companies are bought out, and the investors can eventually gain full rights over the IP by purchasing it for a large amount.
Planning everything and having the business plan available is the best way. It will take a presentation before a bank manager before they loan the money, but at least the business owner maintains complete control over the business and the IP.
Stay Away from Partnerships and Third Parties
Partnerships and third parties are like investors. Eventually, they can take over the business or IP if their names are on the paperwork as part owners. It is always best to keep business separate from pleasure and friends because it is hard to trust anyone when they know all of the company or IP secrets.
Many do stick it out through rough times, but most people will work to become sole owners. There are good partnerships out there, but the chance of having the idea stolen is always there. It can leave an uneasiness about not knowing if the rightful business owner will ever be bought out. This, in turn, can affect the business if something goes wrong.
Take Security Measures
This goes back to keeping things classified. Having the IP under lock and key with added security measures will ensure the business owner has control of who knows what the details are about the IP. Many keep this information in safes or areas where alarm systems are used. It is a highly restricted area, and a security guard or two may be used if the idea is big enough and worth millions of dollars.
Contact Trapp Law, LLC. to Protect Intellectual Property
Trapp Law, LLC understands what can happen if intellectual property is not correctly registered or secured. Hard work and ideas will be lost if someone comes along to take the IP and claim it as theirs. Trapp Law, LLC is ready to take on your ideas and work to keep them safe through all the abovementioned processes. Contact us immediately to protect your ideas and business assets!