The start-upper life is not an easy one. We start with a brilliant idea – a product or a service that we think the market will love – we put down a business plan, we implement it, and then… the fight for survival starts! As we soon find out, having a good idea is not enough: to make it work you need to organize it well and, most of all, you have to protect it against competition.
Normally, the secret of success is the uniqueness of our company, something only we have which allows us to stand out in the market. To reach that point, we normally invest money into R&D and Marketing, which is definitely a good idea. But often we forget about the next step: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, meaning protecting our uniqueness. Whatever brings value to our company is something that potentially competitors would like to “steal” from us, be it an innovation, our brand name or our logo. Let’s face it, competition is not always fair, and we must be aware of that. This is why I would like to introduce you to a new Web platform that was created exactly to help you on that.
Just a few notes about IP (Intellectual Property), which all entrepreneurs should now.
Patents, registered industrial designs and trademarks are the legal tools which allow to prevent competitors from copying or imitating your innovations and brand name or logo. These legal tools are encompassed in Intellectual Property (IP). Just to get you more familiar, we can say that patents protect technical inventions; registered industrial designs protect how products look; and registered trademarks protect your brand identity, the symbol your customers use to pick you out and which distinguishes you from your competitors.
How does IP protection work in practice?
I bet I can read your mind. From entrepreneur to entrepreneur… how often do we end up taking care of everything by ourselves? We already have so many aspects to manage and control in our companies, and IP sounds like a very technical field. As a matter of fact, to effectively exploit these legal tools, the best practice is to seek professional advice. Usually, “professional advice” in the vocabulary of an entrepreneur is translated as: 1) expensive; 2) demanding, in terms of time and energy spent to find the right advisor. This is exactly the reason why Patent Projects was created: to offer a virtual market square where an entrepreneur like us can search a professional for all kinds of services related to Intellectual Property. Basically, it is a worldwide network where any IP firm or freelancer can apply to your job offer. Finding professional advice, therefore, will be 1) less expensive, because you can compare several offers for the job you need to be done, and 2) less time and energy consuming, because on one single Web-site you can be reached from a variety of IP professionals, from different countries and sectors, rated by previous users like you.
Down to the business: what to do on patentprojects.net
On patentprojects.net you can post a request to find a professional to:
- Analyze your company to check if you have assets that you should protect with a patent;
- Take care of a patent application, or other IP procedures;
- Register your trademark or logo;
As you well know, information is power. On patentprojects.net you get a broader overview of the IP professionals’ market, to compare prices, skills, opportunities.
Posting your job offer is very simple. It’s free and with no obligation: you just briefly describe what you need, select the best candidate and get the job done!
What is more, Patent Projects is meant to help you on 360°: a very interesting Blog provides useful information and news concerning IP. The Website is very user-friendly, but should you still have questions or problems, you can count on a prompt on-line Assistance.
Some tips to best exploit IP professional advice
Generally, you should define a long-term strategy, which includes where you want to protect your business. Indeed, patents and registered trademarks/designs are territorial rights, and can be enforced only in those countries where an application has been filed. Also, you should be advised in advance of all the possible costs involved.
If you want to apply for a patent, you should discuss with your attorney if you have publicly disclosed your invention and, if so, what you have disclosed. Also, you should discuss with him/her the state-of-the-art that you know, and get advice if it is the case to perform a prior art search before filing a patent application.
If you want to apply for a trademark, you should ask your attorney to clearly identify to which official IP class(es) your actual and future business belongs. Also, it is recommended to perform an availability search to check whether a trademark similar or identical to yours already exists.
If you want to apply for an industrial design, your patent/trademark attorney should help you preparing the drawings for your application.
So, let me conclude saying patentprojects.net, is here to help protect your business.