In an ideal world, your concept is your own. Nobody can steal it or take it away from you. However, what really happens is that for every idea you have that has merit, you’ll have to be on your guard to make sure you protect it from anyone intent on stealing away your intellectual property. Here are some suggestions on how to make this possible:
- Protect what’s important.
Make sure it’s important to others and not just to you.
- Educate yourself.
Know as much as you can about trademarks, copyrights and patents as well as trade secrets. This can help you understand and figure out how best to guard any assets you might have.
- Do your own IP search.
This can save you a lot when it comes to costs. You could go to this page from Google to get started on your search.
- Hire an intellectual property lawyer.
Go for someone with experience in IP law. This is a tremendous help. With the right legal representation, you’ll have someone there who can help you deal with all the legal details. It can get confusing for a beginner so finding the best lawyer can help you cover your bases. This way, you leave no stone unturned when it comes to guarding your property.
- Don’t just focus on patents.
They aren’t the only assets you have, Inc. says. Remember not to focus your attention on them so much that you miss out on other important things. Have any copyrights and trademarks? Those are part and parcel of your IP as well.
- File as soon as possible.
In the US, they can take as long as 5 years to be issued. So if you’ve got a sound concept on your hands, then send your application right away. Keep in mind that you’ll have to wait 12 months from the day of your initial submission to expand on your filing submission.