Don’t let your idea leak: Protect your IPR

IPR is a matter of concern for companies. Scroll down for more...

One of the biggest fears for all startups is a possible leakage of the idea before the company evolves. Protecting Intellectual Property Rights not only gives companies the freedom to work on their unique ideas, but also in executing seed funding from the venture capitalists and other investors in the long run.

Creating and maintaining a successful stack of intellectual properties may be a tad expensive for startups, but the benefits surely outnumber the financial strains.  While Intellectual Property Rights are an intrinsic part for new entrepreneurial ventures and startups, IP covers broadly all human intellect values. Giving legal protection to such intellect including technological advancements, methods, services or designs, all come under the intellectual property umbrella.

Patents: Patents along with copyright and trademarks are one of the most sought out ways to embed Intellectual Property Rights. Simply speaking, a patent is an official right for any new innovation of human or technological intellect to restrict any other person or company to use the same. Patents are usually filed to protect inventions that have an industrial usage of some form. All patents are recognizable in the court of law as intrinsic intellectual protection tool. The drawback of patent is the high costs required for filing especially if the individual or company is filling an international patent that could protect IP rights globally.

Currently all patents filed in India offer a IP protection rights for a period of 20 years from the date of filing.

Investigate International Patents: Before filing for any new patent it is advised to check with the international patent agencies about the existence of any similar patents.

Take Professional Help: Since patent laws are complicated, it is essential to take services of an experienced patent attorney to help with the whole process in a smooth and effective manner.

Copyrights: Copyrights are used to provide intellectual protection rights for tangible assets of any company or individual including forms of expression. Copyrights lend their weight giving out a complete control over rights to print, publish or perform any expressive or literary content. In case of company or private literature the title is not protected under copyrights but is covered under trademarks while the plot of the content or the material and its summary is protected under the copyright protection law. In India, users and companies can file for copyrights online using the government of India copyright protection website.  (http://copyright.gov.in/)

Trademarks: Trademark is an Intellectual Property Right securing tool used primarily for foundation of any new product range or service. Trademark can be applied for any brand name including company logo, tag line or expression and company name. Companies seeking to file for trademarks can search the government of India trademark database on their official website before filing for their respective trademarks depending on the suited category. Once a company has applied for trademark for its brand or service, it can use the TM mark which suggests that the trademark has been applied for.

Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s): NDA or non disclosure agreements are a good way to protect company’s Intellectual Property Rights.  Simply speaking NDA is a disclosure announcing the company or the individual as the owner of all content including online content, employment agreements, contracts and all kinds of agreements to protect your intellectual property rights effectively.

Convert Infringers into Official Licensees: As it may not always be possible for company and organizations to keep a track of people and companies infringing of protected IP rights, offering a low-cost mechanism for people to become official licensees instead can be an effective deterrent. Signing such contracts not only stops all unlawful infringements on the IP rights, it also cuts out any legal hassle and finances while bringing in a revenue generation possibility for the parent company.

Since most Intellectual Property Rights are complicated and rules vary from one country to the other, consulting an experienced IP rights attorney is advisable depending on the nature of your business.

What steps have you taken to maintain your Intellectual Property Rights? Please share your views.

 

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