In recent years, there has been an increase in interest in entrepreneurship. Consequently, there is much demand for innovative ideas able to create something of value to society and to generate a good financial performance. What many of these do not know is that when they are faced with a business ideaMust protect it at all costs. Yet, startups still struggle on securing an idea.
Entrepreneurs should understand the basic principles of Intellectual property (PI) for protect your ideas aggressive competition. This is suitable for all companies, regardless of their size or the sector in which they are embedded, whether technology is a more traditional industry.
The rights of intellectual property They can be about a brand, logo, corporate identity, products, services or even processes that differentiate the commercial offer. These are the most valuable assets that a company can own.
Today, almost all companies bet and benefit from communication marketing digital in order to get their products to a huge audience and at relatively low cost, which in a more traditional method would be impossible. But also increases the likelihood of business idea be stolen by third parties. That's why the intellectual property protection It is essential to the success of business and entrepreneurs should understand their rights, duties and securing an idea.
Importance of intellectual property
As already mentioned, intellectual property It plays an essential role for the business success. Especially in the case of a startup where innovation of the idea and the risk on investment and success of this are united. Of the various advantages that this protection features, it highlights the following:
- Is the exclusive right by preventing third parties to produce, manufacture, sell or to economically exploit the developed solution, without the permission of the holder;
- Facilitates business growth as this is protected legally impossible competition to adopt the ideas;
- It demonstrates the commitment of entrepreneurs for their ideas;
- Values the investment for the development of products or services;
- It allows for differentiation from competitors by offering customers something new and innovative;
- It generates money by selling or licensing the product or service;
- Transmits security, credibility and commitment to the customer by the holder.
At first glance, this process protection of their ideas It can seem quite complex and complicated, leading to many entrepreneurs ignore this step. However, it is simpler than it appears and is an asset to any company or entrepreneur, worth the time and effort devoted.
The good news is that there are certain rights intellectual property which are automatically protected by law. However, there are also other types of protection cool that the entrepreneur should ask.
When starting a business you need to confirm that there is no longer patented. This process avoids having to deal with the possibility of proceeding by the holder. Similarly, you must verify that the intellectual property your idea is not being violated. It is up to the entrepreneur to exercise since no one else will do it.
Next are listed the types of protection existing and steps securing an idea.
Types of protections
The kind of intellectual property protection an entrepreneur or business can get depends on the setting in question. Thus, it is necessary for them to decide which of his ideas fall into which of the options available and that action is taken as soon as possible in order to reduce the likelihood of losing protection.
There are four main types of business ideas protection: Patent, trademark, copyright and design registered.
If the entrepreneur is facing an invention may consider protect it with a patent. A patent grants property rights to an invention, new products and innovative processes. That is, this gives the holder the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling these without your permission.
This type of protection It is granted by the government, making the idea of property holder. Usually remains in effect for 20 years, should be renewed regularly. It also allows the holder to license third parties to use their invention, generating royalties (periodic payment to the holder for the use of the product or service) thereby providing an important source of revenue for your business.
There are three main types of patents of which the entrepreneur must learn about how to protect a business idea in these circumstances:
It is the most common type of patent that entrepreneurs and companies seek. It covers any process, machinery, material composition, articles of manufacture and new and useful improvements. Processes refer to any industrial or technical acts or methods of doing something, machines include objects that can be considered machines (such as a computer), compositions of matter are basically chemical compositions including a mixture of ingredients or new chemical compounds and lastly, articles of manufacture are goods that can be manufactured or manufactured.
The holder to apply for a utility patent, as indicated by name, must have a breakthrough with some useful, novel and non-obvious. Ie, it may not be immediately obvious to anyone with basic skills in the same industry. This patent lasts up to 20 years where the holder during this period may have to renew it.
The design is defined as the ornamentation of the surface of an article of manufacture, whether the shape or configuration of this. For this type of patent, the design should be separable from the article since it only protects the look of this. For to protect the other aspects, such as structural or functional features, the holder should look for a utility patent. These patents last for 14 years and are notoriously difficult to investigate because the documentation is mostly done in the manufacture of the article pictures or drawings. That is, the entrepreneur should seek help on securing an idea through such patent.
This type of patent, as indicated by the name, is intended to protect plants and any new and distinct variety of plants. In order to apply for this protection, The plant can not be propagated by tubers, it can not be found in an uncultivated state and can be reproduced asexually, to ensure that the holder can reproduce the plant. The plant patent lasts 20 years.
It is important that patents are requested as soon as possible. There is a risk of other companies or entrepreneurs also create patents for their ideas and if they are of the same type, the likelihood of getting a patent may decrease. Also, if it takes a lot to ask the patent, the entrepreneur may lose the chance to do so. This is because past 12 months after launching the product on the market, this opportunity will disappear.
This type of protection are signs that distinguish the products or services of one trader from another. They can take many forms, such as, words, slogans, logos, shapes, colors, sounds, symbols, distinct product names or marks or even a combination of these elements.
Trademarks are registered for specific products of a certain class. It is possible that other companies or entrepreneurs register their marks that are identical or similar, provided that they belong to different classes of brands already registered.
For a holder to apply for this type of protection, It must have a clear representation of the mark as well as identified the class of products for which the mark is applied. This mark must not be descriptive, include common last names, geographical names, registered company names or any indication of royal patronage.
A trademark lasts 10 years and that the holder can renew it indefinitely.
Copyrights protect original works of authorship. Examples of these are literary works, music, sound recordings, dramatic works, pantomimes, and cinematic choreography, sculptural works, pictorial and graphic, architectural works, software, web content, among many others.
A company or entrepreneur automatically owns the copyright in any work that they or their employees create. That is, your registration is voluntary. With this protection, The holder has exclusive rights and can decide how their work can be modified, performed, licensed, displayed or copied by others.
To qualify for copyright registration, the work should be represented in a tangible means of expression, such as a piece of paper. The duration varies according to the type of work, when and where it was created. Thus, the company should seek information on securing an idea.
A trade secret is something that companies keep secret in order to provide an advantage over its competitors. This kind of protection may include, but are not limited to the following, formula, process, device, business information, list of customers or suppliers, financial data, computer algorithms, programs, techniques.
Unlike other types of intellectual property, a protection by trade secret is not registered. Its duration depends on the measures taken by companies to control the dissemination and use of information. Thus, companies use confidentiality agreements, restricted access to confidential information, post-employment restrictive agreements, regular meetings with employees to keep them aware of what can not be transmitted outside the company and other security practices to keep information important within the company.
Innovative ideas allow many companies to succeed. This is because develop new and better alternatives that already exists in the market, offering a competitive advantage. THE intellectual property It is essential to ensure safety to the entrepreneur and facilitates a possible internationalization of the business.
Before boarding no product developmentShould confirm that there is no patent or other form of protection already registered, you can limit the planned development of the business idea.
If you need or feel better, the entrepreneur should seek professional help from lawyers, for example in order to determine the best protection that fits business and securing an idea. The aid of experienced entities can help the entire application process is done correctly.