You have an idea for a blockbuster product, you have figured out that there is a huge market opportunity and you want to capitalize by transforming your idea into a reality. As a first time entrepreneur, you will face several challenges like raising funds, building infrastructure, preparing prototypes and designs, marketing etc.
At each stage during this course of transforming your idea into a successful product, you will be interacting with ‘outsiders’ like technical experts, ex-colleagues, business community and many others, discussing your ‘idea’ to refine it and shape it into a better product. And each time you share your idea, it comes with a risk of getting stolen.
So here we give you a quick 5 step guideline on what steps you can take to protect your idea and mitigate the potential risk of losing all your hard work to others:
1. File a provisional patent application
This is the quickest way to protect your idea which is still in a nascent stage. You get a priority on the patent for your invention and can take advantage of the patent pending tag in all your marketing efforts.
2. Apply for Trademark
Trademark rights are the most suitable protection means for your brand names, logo, captions or any other identifying marks of your company, your goods or services. This ensures that the catchy brand name that you have got is safeguarded against replication.
Let us also tell you that according to the Indian Trademark system, you can suffix the letters TM with your brand name as soon as you have filed the trademark registration application. Click here to file a trademark
3. Copyright your code
Copyright is another means of good IP practice that you should exercise as it does not involve any overhead cost. Copyright protects any form of literature, art work, music, multimedia content that you have created against plagiarism.
Copyrights are the easiest DIY [Do-it-yourself] ways of protecting your intellectual property. Be it your source code, your web content, blog articles or presentations make sure that you end it with
“©, Year of creation and the author/ owner name”.
One must be informed that this practice alone ensures that you are the owner of the copyright but as a proof of ownership, you can always certify the content with Registrar of Copyrights in India. Click here to file a copyright
4. Due diligence
Due diligence in legal parlance refers to steps taken to avoid committing a tort or offence. It is strongly recommended to the startups to have a DIY due diligence to ensure that good “IP practices” are being followed in the organization. A simple way to start this practice is by documenting every idea that is being worked upon and make notes of any reference material used during the entire ideation to product release cycle.
Follow these four simple steps while you are working on your product and you will have a strong IP portfolio that raises your valuation.