Bring your idea to market intelligently. It can be tempting to rush the process, but there are several pitfalls that can get in the way between initial concept and successful, marketable product.
Here are just a few places where entrepreneurs often run into intellectual property mistakes:
- Great idea; no market. It’s bad business to get swept away with an idea that hasn’t been tested. Spending time, money and energy on an idea that nobody wants to buy is an exercise in aggravation, to say the least. Do your research and initial testing to be sure there is a need and a market for your idea.
- Failing to file. In the United States, patents are awarded on a first-to-file rule. If you delay your filing, you risk someone else securing the patent on your idea.
- No written agreements. Yes, you trust your co-founders and developers, but never rely on verbal agreements. Have all invested parties sign clear founders’ agreements, copyright assignment agreements and IP ownership agreements as soon as possible. These documents help establish who owns the intellectual property on a project.
- Not understanding your own patent. Once you secure a patent, you need to understand what it covers and what it doesn’t. Failure to do so could land you in legal trouble. This Forbes article covers that concept in more detail, and working with a qualified patent attorney is often the simplest way to stay out of trouble on this count.
- Trademark disputes. Before branding and marketing a product, be sure that nobody else is using or owns your desired name. The news is full of stories of companies suing each other for trademark infringement. Avoid the headache of litigation and court and do your trademark research ahead of time.
To learn more about protecting your business assets with well-crafted business agreements and intellectual property filings, contact EmergeCounsel today. To learn more about IP strategy, download our free IP e-book.