Your ideas, your unique products and service models will set you apart as an entrepreneur. One great idea can transform an industry, and it can set you up for an exceptionally prosperous future. However, if you do not take the proper precautions, you may sacrifice your earning potential and miss out on a career that combines passion and prosperity. Forbes outlines the different agreements that you can leverage to protect yourself against the loss of intellectual property. If you are not clear regarding any of the research behind intellectual property and what it means to really protect your business, be sure to contact an expert.
Leverage patents, copyrights, and trademarks to better protect your intellectual property. If your business is built on a unique idea, then you cannot risk losing your claim to this product or service. There are many ways of protecting yourself, and it is important to choose the option that best suits you and your business. It is important to fully understand the implication of the documents that you are signing or have neglected to sign.
If you have created a new product — unique to anything else on the market — you will need to get a patent. A patent enables you to take the necessary actions to prevent other businesses or individuals from reproducing the object as per its description in your patent claim. You will have to contact the Canadian Intellectual Property Office to apply for a patent. Be prepared that there can be some roadblocks throughout the application process. You will need to prove that your idea or product is novel and that it serves a purpose. In order to protect yourself, be sure to understand the nuances of the application and do not neglect any information that may secure your patent.
If you want to protect a work of art or authorship, you will need to get a copyright. This will give you the sole ability to make copies of and sell your work. You can also protect the symbolic value of a brand by trademarking its visual presentation and wording. Service marks perform the same function, but they apply to services provided by your company.
As you grow your startup, you will begin to bring more and more people on to your team. These people may be friends, family, or new hires that you are taking a chance on to better your company. The more people that interact with you in a professional capacity, the more you expose yourself to the loss of intellectual property. You need to leverage confidentiality agreements for employees, clients, and any other stakeholders that may benefit from misusing your novel ideas, products, and services. Your intellectual property can be extremely lucrative, adding value to your balance sheet and enhancing your appeal to stakeholders. If your intellectual property is taken from you and used to add value to another enterprise, your stock and your product values will suffer.
Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary risk. Be strategic and smart. You need to promote yourself and to leverage the help of others to fuel the success of your business. At the same time, it is your responsibility to protect your best interests – even if you are working with people who are close to you. We are concerned about your accounting practices, but we also want to help enhance the overall operations of your company. We look forward to building a better startup business with you and your stakeholders.