5 Ways To Protect Your Business Ideas and Innovations
A thriving business can easily be robbed of its fruits of innovation with notorious IP counterfeiting and infringements, making it difficult for a business to survive. The significant amount of time a company invests in strengthening its reputation, and the resources it infuses to innovate, can be crushed in a matter of seconds with IP infringement. Therefore, experts lay emphasis on the importance of making one’s products and services infringement-proof through several available methods.
Why Opt For Infringement Protection
Digitalization has hastened the production and distribution of counterfeit products, which reach worldwide consumers and gather negative reviews for poor quality. The practice accelerates the process of brand erosion.
Bearing this setback in mind, it is crucial that businesses equip themselves with powerful information on infringement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) so that they can be effectively enforced. IPRs ensure that in case an IP infringement occurs, the plaintiff is fully compensated for the damage caused to their creation.
Discussed below are 5 Ways To Protect Your Business Ideas and Innovations:
A patent is essentially a right granted by the country’s government to assure and fend off other companies from manufacturing, selling or using a business’ apparatus, design or software. The assurance can be achieved by filing an application with the Patent and Trademark Office of the country. The patent is issued after verifying its ingenuity. The process takes approximately two years. Once the patent is issued, you can prosecute or prevent others from copying your invention. While the company awaits the patent, it can use the “patent pending” tag on promotional materials such as flyers and advertisements to convey the exclusivity of its products.
A trademark is a symbol or notation that specifically identifies and differentiates a company’s product in the market. Shapes, building designs, ornamentation or even brand taglines can qualify as a trademark. To establish the ownership of a trademark, it is customary to initially use it during the commercial sale of goods and services, followed by prompt filing of the application at the Trademark Office. Upon confirmation of the similarity of the mark, the official registration will be granted.
A copyright can impede the duplication of any writing, artwork and computer program. The copyright for creation exists as soon as it’s created. However, if the work is disclosed in the public arena without proper notice – the symbol ©, the year it was publicized, the name of the owner, and the ownership can be forfeited. Pre or post-publication, copyright can be federally registered by applying to the Copyright Office. The copyright laws protect books, pamphlets or any form of conventional texts and artwork as well.
4. Trade Dress & Unfair Competition Law
It is always helpful to be aware of the protective law meant to safeguard your goods and services, known as “trade dress & unfair competition law”. “Trade dress” here implies the distinctive way products are “dressed” – packaging, labels and colours. This law henceforth shields the product against unauthorized copying of design and ornamentation. Designs that fail to gain protection via trademark are sometimes encompassed by this law.
5. Trade Secrets
Trade secrets refer to those documents and information that the company keeps confidential from outsiders. The information is not disclosed during sale or advertisement of the products or services. Blueprints, recipes and customer lists belong to this category. Maintaining this secrecy is essential as protecting a company’s trade secret can prevent unlawful disclosure, acquisition, and use of the company’s trade secret by other companies.
The above-mentioned legal tools are indispensable means of protecting your ideas and products from marketplace predators. Most often, more than one legal remedy can be used to protect a single innovation or design. Intellectual property is prone to theft because it’s an integral part of a business’ revenue and growth story. Have a revolutionary idea in your head? Be cautious before discussing in unprotected space – fallen into the hands of a wrong company or person, your rightful property can be plagiarized and produced in the market. Hence, the salient step following the inception of an idea is to protect it.
Sagacious IP works extensively to protect businesses from intellectual property thefts by providing them tailored intellectual property management solutions. Be it patent information searching or trademark search, we have got you covered.
-The Editorial Team