Top Experts Offer Their Advice On How To Protect Your IP
What is it that separates the top startups from the rest? Usually, it’s their ideas. Every year, thousands of people start up restaurants in the hope of making money, but very few people set up the next Uber or the best Airbnb. It’s these rare ideas-based companies that end up being the most successful in the long run because they are the most innovative.
But having a great idea isn’t enough in business. You’ve also got to make sure that the idea remains protected. Companies who don’t protect their IP end up losing their key advantage and their investors.
Here are some tips for protecting your IP.
Ensure The Best Experience To Profit From Your IP
Chris Kirby from the website Voices is skeptical of the power of intellectual property law to really protect a company. He says that with the rise of patent trolls and the fact that trade secrets are becoming harder and harder to keep because of reverse engineering, companies need to find new ways to be successful. Just having a great idea isn’t enough.
His advice is to make your business so compelling that people won’t want to go anywhere else, even if another company has copied your product. His advice is to ensure that your user experience is second-to-none so that your customers won’t want to go anywhere else.
Often you’ll get into disputes with other companies over intellectual property that end up in court. It’s important in these circumstances to hire a courtroom stenographer, somebody who will record all the details of the proceedings. Having a person record what was said is important, as it may contain clues that will help you win your case.
Documentation is also important outside of the courtroom too. Many entrepreneurs keep a journal of their best ideas, right from the moment of inception so that they can prove that the ideas behind their company are theirs. John Zahorsky, Director of IT and Privacy Officer of Eden Autism, says that every document that your business produces should have a time and date stamp so that it can be used as evidence in court if your intellectual property is infringed. Track all the important moments of your research process so that you can prove ownership of an idea, he says.
Employ Strong Internal Encryption
Many companies based on intellectual property operate overseas. As a result, says Tim Maliyil from AlertBoot, they need to think carefully about how they protect their assets outside of their home country. His suggestion is to encrypt all sensitive IP before sending it over a network so that it can’t be unpacked and exploited by other businesses in foreign countries with lax IP law. It can be a lot of overhead, says Tim, but it also saves a lot of money in the long run. It’s much cheaper than having somebody copy your idea and then market it around the world.
Scott Steiner from UM Technologies, says that companies can also protect themselves by moving faster than their competition. Moving faster helps your business become dominant in a market segment before copycat firms catch up.