For a business to start and eventually grow, you need to have an idea. It is your foundation and starting point. However, your idea can also be easily stolen, especially when you are just about to get the thing started. And if this happens, the opportunity to make money is lost.
Believe it or not, idea theft is a huge concern in any industry right now. A competitor can easily steal your business idea and take advantage of it. As a result, your business has little to zero room for recourse. And while the vast majority of people are not about stealing your ideas, it is important to have someone who can protect it for you.
This is where you need to be prepared; hence, you need to know the different ways to protect your ideas from theft.
1. Don’t reveal too much
This is definitely one of the best and most effective ways to secure your business idea. Basically, your goal here is to only unveil what is considered absolutely necessary. For instance, you are about to pitch an idea to a client. There is no need for you to reveal everything about it, let alone unveil most of the idea itself.
You do not have to share to them how your product works or how the service can be fulfilled. In most cases, however, you will have to go on with a full blast if you are trying to win an investor. At the end of the day, he wants to learn everything about your product or service before he puts money.
2. Use non-disclosure agreements
Also known as NDA, this one right here can help protect your idea before you start revealing them to your associates and/or workers. Keep in mind, though, that most investors love to hesitate at signing an NDA before you are allowed to speak to them. And considering the fact that the sense of balance in terms of power is in favor of them, this is likely to be something that you need to neglect if your goal is for these investors to support you head-on.
The same thing can be said for other potential clients. Regardless, it is best to hire a lawyer first before moving forward, so you will know your options. In fact, if you are just starting up, you can get help from your family lawyer already. There is no doubt that he has ideas when it comes to non-disclosure agreements.
3. Apply for a provisional patent
What most business owners do not know is that a patent can result in tons of money, especially when compared to startup having the ability to pay. During the task of trying to shop your idea around, you need to have a provisional patent first. Why exactly? That is because it can protect your idea at least for the very first year. After the time expires, remember this type of patent is going to expire. The good thing, though, is that you will always have the option to extend it.
4. Trademark your name
First and foremost, this is completely different from a provisional patent. By essence, a trademark is designed to provide you with an additional layer of legal protection. This is simply due to the fact that a lot of company names out there are closely tied with this idea. More importantly, by being able to establish a trademark, you automatically have an added protection if a legal issue arises.
The documentation required to register a trademark, on the other hand, can be used as written proof that your business idea was already being worked out at a certain time. Remember, too, that these dates will play a crucial role in determining the exact date your business idea was in the works in the event an entity or business tries to go against this fact.
Protecting valuable intellectual property is definitely hard with a global population fast approaching 8-billion people. However, using the 4 tips above will definitely go a long way toward protecting your ideas, allowing you to put them into action and eventually profit from them.