Everyone has an idea or a product they feel can disrupt the market but the question is does this idea/product deserve protection? There is only one answer to that which is yes. As a business founder or entrepreneur, the most important thing about your product/idea/innovation is the USP: Unique selling point. This is what makes your market stand out from the crowd. Without a USQ your idea or product would just be another thing the market already has which is why you need to protect it at all costs. The nature of your business determines the type of protection you should get and there are 4 types of protection namely patents, trademarks, copyright legislation and trade secrets you can choose from.
If your business deals with inventing and designing new things, then this is the ideal protection for you. As an inventor or designer, patent protection gives you rights for a limited amount of time to exclude others from using, marketing or selling your product or invention without your permission. This type of protection is territorial and only valid within a jurisdiction. It’s also similar to a subscription-based plan with requires you as an inventor or designer to make annual renewals for whatever time frame you want to stop competitors from using your invention or design.
As a business founder one of the easiest ways to protect your idea, business or innovation is through a trademark. This is a name, sign, symbol, letter or catchphrase that differentiates you from your competitors. A trademark gives you easy recognition to your customers and target market. For example when you see the check sign or you hear the slogan ‘just do it” you know it’s Nike.
This is a very popular one as you might know and the official symbol is © It deals with intellectual properties, while you can’t copyright the idea itself you can protect the intellectual property from being used by anyone without your permission. For example, an idea to start a business that produces cars can’s be copyrighted but the design of the car and the functions of the car can be protected by copyright laws. Copyrighting protects the creativity and effort put into developing the new idea. When you copyright an intellectual property you are the only one allowed to use it, sell, communicate, or develop ideas based on the original work. Highly recommended for inventors.
As an innovator, there are things you would want to keep a secret, especially during the development stage. While there is no official documentation for this, it is simply telling your employees not to share certain information with anyone outside your company. This type of protection is used for formulas, processes, devices, business information, a list of customers or suppliers, financial data, computer algorithms, programs and techniques. Its duration depends on the measures a company puts in place to ensure the information doesn’t leave the company walls.
As a business founder, Startup owner or entrepreneur looking to protect your business, these 4 types of protection will ensure your idea, product and innovation will not get copied by competitors. To learn more about how to protect your idea, innovation and product kindly watch a recap of our webinar below.