If you’ve developed a product or design then you know exactly how much work and effort have gone into getting it ready and to the stage where you are thinking about bringing it to market. So it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure your hard work in creating this product is not for nothing by protecting your intellectual property.

Trademarks

Trademarking is a way to protect your business idea and is usually used to protect a name, logo or other identifiers of intellectual property. The trademark is really a way to ensure that other companies, individuals or organizations are not using your names or identifiers to mimic or pretend to be offering a service that is yours and essentially profiting off the back of your hard work getting that name known, respected and out there.

Copyrights

There is a big difference between trademarks and copyrights although this may not seem really apparent at first glance, copyright is designed to protect a creative piece of work such as a book, piece of music or art rather than the business identifiers that trademarks protect. This is a subtle difference but an important one to be aware of as this could leave you unprotected if you get this one wrong.

Patents

A patent is different again from the two above methods of protecting intellectual property as it is a mechanism for protecting an invention or product and it’s important to understand that the main requirement for obtaining one is that your invention has a feature that is unique and original to it. If this is the case then it should be very possible to get a patent on it.

Deciding When To Begin Promoting

It’s a difficult question of when to start promoting the new product and if you should do it prior to it being ready for market, quite often the answer is yes and providing you have the necessary protection of the intellectual property then it’s a good idea to build up a buzz through social media such as Facebook to get it in the public mind prior to launch.

Non-disclosure Agreements

If you have any staff working on a new product in the development stage then it’s essential that you have legally tight Non-disclosure Agreement to ensure that they are bound to keep confidential the aspects of the new product that they are working on. This means you can work away safe in the knowledge that you have protection over your IP.

Document Every Step Of The Process

It’s important to document every step of the way in your journey on creating and protecting your product, invention or idea. If you can show photographic and/or video evidence in a way that is time-stamped in one way or another then this will build a body of evidence which you can draw upon in the, hopefully, unlikely situation that you find yourself having to take legal action in order to protect your intellectual property.