How to protect your intellectual property.
Do you have the newest, brightest and coolest business idea to come along in years? Are you looking to market it or even search for investors to get it up and running? Many entrepreneurs may find themselves in the same boat.
You may be presented with the opportunity to pitch your idea or business to an audience willing to listen and you are wondering how to protect your intellectual property. If so how can you use creative outlets, resources and assistance from others without the danger of opening yourself up for someone to snatch your work? In other words how do you protect your intellectual property when pitching your idea?
You may possibly need a business lawyer? As a matter of fact you may have been needed one from the start of of your business. That however, will be another segment.
Now back to pitching your idea. When it comes to making creative content (writer, filmmaker, etc.) your idea can’t be protected, but your expression can. In other words you can protect the name of your business, product, logo or design. This can be done by registering your work with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or the U.S. Copyright Office. You can protect that if someone decides to steal your work.
Many entrepreneurs have been known to protect their ideas by presenting a non-disclosure agreement. This may depend on the stage of your idea. If your idea is unique and unheard you might want to protect it. Doing the early stages a non-disclosure agreement protects your ideas before you actually go into detail during your presentation. So it’s best to have it signed before hand.
You should also keep a paper trail. Keep track of emails and documents sent via snail mail. This will provide some proof that a conversation regarding your pitch.
- Register your work through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or the U.S Copyright Office.
- Present a non-disclosure agreement to those you are presenting your work(s) to.
- Keep a paper trail.
- Obtain a lawyer.
In the end, you’ll have to weigh the risk and make your move.