In this day and age, if you don’t have intellectual property protection for your design business, you can be sure someone will steal your hard work and get away with it. This has been a major problem, even for the largest brands in the world. Samsung, Apple, BMW, Bentley, Rolex and much more have had their designs copied by companies in China at one point or another. With so many small businesses arising in the modern world, entrepreneurs need to think of themselves as a large business. Never expect to get run over by a larger competitor. The economy is now fully international, so you have to cement your products and designs into your government’s books. This way, they can also fight your case at a political level if it ever comes to that. Thankfully, however, there are many ways you can protect your products and intellectual property.
1. A Bundle of Assets
The issue for many small business owners is, they don’t know just how complex intellectual property protection really is. This is why you need to start early. Track your intellectual property protection along with your product development. You’ll need to scale it along with how far and wide your product develops. The big four are trademarks, copyrights, patents, designs. You may also require a domain name if you are launching a product specifically on its own website. However, the big four only come into effect once you have products that fit those categories. You can only trademark a product once it’s about to be launched. Then you have to file copyright protection so no one can copy it’s designing or use the name of it for their own purposes. Patents will be the first thing you log a protection request. Patents are the actual idea/design of your product, which is why you need to keep the blueprints and early drawings so when it comes time to provide evidence to the patent authority you’re ready to prove yourself. This bundle of assets has to be completed in a chronological manner.
2. During a Storm
Design businesses need to work off a cloud system. The issue is that a design that is freely being changed and altered as you go along, can be lost during natural disasters and power outages. To protect against any loss, you should always have a diesel generator as a backup for your office and studio. This way the lights are kept on and the machines continue working as long as you have physical fuel. This gives your employees enough time to quickly save everything you have both on a hard drive and the cloud system. It’s crucial that you have a system that automatically turns the generator on if and when the power goes out. During a storm there may be a loss of internet connection as well as; that’s if you’re relying on the commercial office service. But having your own generator can power your own router system, avoiding any loss of data and design drafts.
3. A Strong Legal Team
Large corporations will spend millions and millions of dollars on their own legal teams. Quite clearly, this is because the legal team will do everything they can to protect every inch of your business. Intellectual property is not necessarily tangible as it may be an online product or service. The laws of copyright and patents are always changing. So having a dedicated legal team that watches over any new movements in law and international standards, is going to protect you night and day. It’s also vital that you keep your legal team in the loop of current and future developments. This way they won’t be blindsided, and they can effectively work to make any product or service yours and yours only.
4. Good Silence Practice
When you’re in the middle of designing something, just have a general silence code in your office. There should not be any communication of your new design with people outside of the business. So remind your workers to not spill the beans to anyone at a business conference. Know who you’re talking to and don’t give away company secrets.
Intellectual property is among the most complex of all legal areas in business. Hiring a personal legal team to always be in the know of what’s going on and protecting your business from rivals and international thieves, is going to be an investment you won’t regret. However, you must chronologically attain all the assets that a product needs to have in order to have governmental protections. Invest in a generator that will power your business should a natural disaster befall you at any moment.