Intellectual Property Protection (IPP) legally identifies the originator and owner of your idea and gives you exclusive rights to exploit it. In the simplest terms, if you are unable to legally protect your new product or choose not to protect it, then competitors could not be prevented from copying all your hard work!
Tuesday 26th April marks World IP Day so in celebration of this fact, we have compiled a list of our Top 5 Tips for protecting your New Product Development (NPD).
1. Keep the secret
It is important that the early stages of a project are kept as secret as possible, until you have suitable Intellectual Property (IP) measures in place. Releasing details of your idea into the public domain (which includes your friends) without protection may jeopardise the chances of your IPP applications being granted.
If you need to discuss your idea with anyone, such as a supplier, use a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) document to ensure that all parties understand their obligations to keep the discussions secret.
3. Research, Research, Research
Research existing product and patents using internet search engines and patent databases. There are many free patent databases that you can use to carry out your own searching, but professional patent searches and Patent Attorneys who specialise in such services will almost certainly dig deeper and could find documents that are more relevant than those found by a novice searcher.
4. Utilise the expertise of others
A design consultancy team like Hillside will help you explore the idea and identify where the novel elements of the design might be. The designers can help with providing descriptions of claims and supporting illustrations which will reduce your search and filing fees significantly.
5. Get professional help
When you are confident you have established what the main strengths of your idea are then you should investigate the best form of IPP. Attempting a DIY IPP is not the best approach and can do more harm than good. There are a number of ways to protect the intellectual property of your idea and we recommend that you speak with an IPP expert such as a Patent Attorney.
At Hillside we have excellent links with trusted and experienced IP Attorneys in several specialisms who can help you to gain the right protection. We have established clear working protocols that enable them to offer our clients favourable, fixed cost structures by keeping their involvement focused in key areas and at key stages in the NPD process. It has been our experience that even when allowing for the costs attributed to these services, our clients still save themselves time and money in the long run.
You can find out more in our company Information Pack. Click here to request your copy.