Though not always the case, a simple idea can be the genesis for a project or piece of work that can net you millions of dollars. It all but becomes worthless (to you), though, if someone swoops in and steals it from you. So, how do you go about protecting your right to full compensation for your work when you get started on a new venture? The following tips should give you an idea on how to start, and put you down the path to success.
Start With What You Know
Experience can go a long way in helping you navigate the ups and downs of a market or industry, so when you’re generating your ideas, it helps to stick with what you know. Your expertise will help you sort through the pitfalls of creating inventions or business ideas, and if you don’t have it, you should, at the least, bring aboard a partner who does.
Have A “War Chest”
Protecting ideas can be costly enough on its own, and that’s not even accounting the costs of developing said ideas. You’ll need to make sure that you have the funds to do both, so that you can guard your ideas while simultaneously bringing them to fruition.
Document All You Can
Throughout every step of your journey, you should put any and everything into writing, and save that documentation in a way that you can easily recall it when needed. What you’re doing is creating a paper trail for your proof of concept so that whenever you’re called to defend your intellectual property, you’ll have everything laid out in advance.
Trademark Your Company
A company’s name and branding are tied to their ideas. Establishing this relationship early is a way of protecting the ideas you develop, and gives you a bit more ammunition to work with should you ever come across a legal issue involving your intellectual property. Building off the above point, this is a specific area of documentation — helping to provide a written proof of how your ideas came about.
Learn About Intellectual Property Licensing
Down the line, you may find a need to lend your ideas to others, and you should do so with an intellectual property licensing attorney. You’ll want to be able to navigate the world of granting permission to some of your intellectual property rights with specific contracts that allow you to retain the ownership of whatever patents, copyrights, and trademarks you have in place.