Considering that the economy is moving faster than usual, more and more entrepreneurs are turning their dreams into reality. Small businesses, though, unfortunately tend to take a hit and get taken advantage of because they often start their business with little to nothing. One of the main areas where they see that hit is in their unprotected intellectual property.
Intellectual property issues are often among the most critical considerations that online businesses will experience. Follow these tips to keep you, your business and your products and services protected.
Use legal disclaimers: When starting your small business, you’ll want and need legal disclaimers on your services and products. This protects you and makes sure that the consumer acknowledges and understands that your product or service isn’t in control of their outcomes — or under their control. Essentially, it clarifies the responsibilities that both parties have once money has been transferred and the service or product has been purchased.
Understand what can be patented: To be patentable, an idea, service or product must be new and inventive. It must also be a patent-eligible topic. What constitutes a patent-eligible topic varies depending on the country where you live. Do your research to learn what issues might be challenges in your country and be sure to consider these issues with when developing your IP plan.
Don’t just rely on patents: Though patents are valuable benefits to startups, they are only a small piece of protecting your business. To be a successful startup, you will first need a quality product or service — and getting a patent does not mean that your service or product is necessarily a good invention, nor does it mean that anyone will even buy it. Essentially, make sure you are protecting a product or service that is worth protecting.
Intellectual property is, in most cases, the most valuable advantage to an online startup. Protecting intellectual property can be essential to preventing competitors from any unfair competing. Without protection, you risk having your ideas and products taken from you. It’s usually a good idea to discuss your ideas with an IP professional, who can go over types of IP protection that will work best for your business.