4 Dos and Don’ts for Protecting Your Intellectual Property
Whether you’re a serial inventor or you’ve just come up with the idea of a lifetime, it’s just as important to protect your new intellectual property as it is to actually put your idea in motion. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes at this point—and those mistakes can render their ideas worthless or even place them squarely in the hands of other people or parties.
To strengthen your claim on your idea and your chances of profiting from, it’s important that you make the right moves and avoid the WRONG moves. Unsure which is which? Keep reading to learn 5 things you should do—and 5 things you shouldn’t do—with your intellectual property.
Check if your idea is already trademarked, patented, or protected elsewhere.
Although fresh ideas and concepts arise all the time, it’s common for light bulb moments to be quickly dimmed once people find out they’re already under lock and key by others. Before devoting too much time and attention to your idea, research it to determine if the idea is worth pursuing.
Keep your idea to yourself until your ownership is ironclad.
New ideas are often lucrative simply because they are rare. And when others catch wind of new ideas, they may want a piece of the pie to themselves—or even the entire thing! Be careful who you tell about your new idea, lest they beat you to the punch and take it for themselves.
Consider whether you should involve your employer (if applicable).
If your idea is directly related to your line of work or your employer’s day-to-day operations, you may be legally required to involve them in the process—especially if the idea was conceived as a result of your paid labor. And in some cases, involving your employer can make it easier to implement your idea and be compensated for it. However, doing so may involve giving up some or all rights to your idea.
Enlist the help of an experienced law firm.
It would be great if profiting from a new idea was always as simple as filing for a patent, copyright, or trademark, building the product, business, or creation, and then enjoying the rewards. But intellectual property law is often convoluted and messy, especially with similar ideas exist. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced Orange County intellectual property lawyer on your side.
Move forward without doing your research.
Proceeding with work on an already protected idea or invention usually just ends in frustration and wasted time, money, and energy. But opportunities may exist by slightly altering your idea or finding ways to support existing ideas and intellectual properties.
Claim ownership of your idea until you actually have it.
Some people are tempted to rush ahead with their new ideas and even attempt to profit from them long before they’ve achieved full ownership of them. Worse yet, they may represent themselves as having ownership over those ideas before that has been achieved. Doing so can put you at risk of lawsuits or even having your idea stolen out from under you.
Create branding or marketing until you’ve checked out the competition.
Trademarks are particularly volatile, and they play a major role in product/company names, branding, marketing, and more. Unfortunately, many intellectual property holders don’t realize that they’ve given their idea a name that’s extremely similar to an existing property until after they’ve already spent big money on branding and marketing—all of which will have to be redone.
Ignore notices concerning infringement or violations.
If you pursue ownership of your intellectual property on your own, there’s a chance you’ll have a few blind spots whether it’s on the patent, copyright, or trademark sides of things. These blind spots could be severe or minor, but either way, there’s a good chance you’ll be notified of them. If that happens, don’t ignore the notifications! Doing so could result in a costly lawsuit, while avoiding one could require only minor changes to your idea.
Big Ideas Can Be Lifechanging. Make Sure Yours Is Protected.
American’s free market economy rewards innovation, creativity, and originality. But it also demands that the people who conceive great ideas take the necessary steps to protect them. At Jafari Law Group, it’s our job to help people protect their intellectual property and ensure that they can reap the rewards from their hard work.
If you’re sitting on a big idea, or you’ve just begun the process of exploring a new product, patent, or business, we can help you take the right steps towards making your dream a reality—while also protecting it from those who want to cash-in on what should be yours.