In one of our latest blog posts, the second of a two-part series, we described how to know when you need an Intellectual Property (“IP”) attorney to legally shield your great idea. This time, we’ll look into the action steps that are critical to this undertaking. As stated previously, don’t take shortcuts when it comes to your ambitions. If you’re serious about bringing your IP to the next level and protecting your innovation or invention, taking the necessary steps are invaluable to save months or even years of creative energy going unfulfilled.
1. Learn all you can on the topic of IP: A simple Google search can provide you with a wide array of information on the topic. There are legal references and publication resources specific to IP. Research and take notes on the different types of legal safeguards and write down any questions you formulate along the way. You’ll need to be familiar with the type of protection that is appropriate for your invention and your industry (copyright, trademark, etc.).
2. Get all contracts and non-disclosure agreements in order: If you are a business owner or you have a partner who was intimately involved with the creation of your IP, it is critical to have all agreements in place. Not only partnership agreements, but thorough and specific non-disclosure and non-compete agreements for your employees. Although it is implied, it stands repeating that if your deal fairly and honestly with partners and co-inventors from the beginning, you’ll lessen the chance of legal action against you in the future. Give credit where credit is due. Follow the Golden Rule.
In our next post, we’ll conclude with the final three steps – one of which will make or break the process, yet many inventors fail to take into account.