You’ve got a great, innovative idea, and you just know this is the one that will catapult you into a successful business venture. But before you go enthusiastically announcing your inspiration to colleagues, friends, and family, or spilling your trade secrets at the local coffee shop, consider legally protecting your intellectual property. There can be immense legal ramification of ideas that are not properly protected.
Here are three important tips for making sure your ideas or inventions are protected.
- File for Protection
File for protection under U.S. patent, trademark, and/or copyright laws. But which one of these provides the most appropriate type of intellectual property protection?
A patent for an invention does not grant the right to make, use, offer for sale, sell, or import, but the right to exclude others from doing so. A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. Copyright is a form of protection provided to the creators of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished.
- Invest in Legal Counsel
It’s worth the money to engage the services of an experienced small business or intellectual property attorney. When choosing an attorney, remember that you are seeking a qualified, trained professional, not a best friend. Don’t rely on TV, online, or phone directory ads; ask someone you trust for a personal recommendation. You can also check with the local chamber of commerce to see which attorneys have good reputations in the local business community.
- Arm Yourself with Knowledge
Even though it’s advisable to leave the big decisions to an attorney, it’s a smart idea to bone up on intellectual property rights yourself, even if you just read some books on the subject. There are also many online resources available for people new to this world.
A good place to start is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website. The Library of Congress’s Office of Copyrights also provides useful information.
The post Got a Great Idea? Keep Your Inventions Safe appeared first on Home Business Magazine.
Author: Yasir Billoo
Powered by WPeMatico