A Different Approach to Protecting Your Intellectual Property

In previous posts, we have talked about the various tools business owners can utilize to protect their intellectual property: non-disclosure agreements, patents and copyrights among them.

These measures can protect the originality of the work in question and help prevent others from unauthorized use. However, understand that people may still try to copy or recreate your product or service. To more fully protect your product, the author of this Forbes article suggests you try to steal your own work.

Designing around protections

When it comes to a product you invented, expect there to be competition if the product is successful, the author notes. And that competition may invest a hefty amount of resources in figuring out your product, reverse engineer it and determine what makes it work. This investment can include hiring workers who can work around or recreate a product without using patented materials or designs, for instance.

This allows another party to create a similar – but not the same – product without violating any legal protections you have in place.

Stepping back to protect more

However, if you step back from your product and look at ways other people might recreate or redesign it, you can identify additional points to protect. For instance, you might have the exact product you want, but others might change the shape, color or materials and then sell a similar item without violating your patents.

If you also patent those materials, uses and processes, you can give yourself an even greater head start.

Keeping it all in check

Keep in mind that owning more intellectual property takes more resources and effort. Not only must you figure out what to protect, you should also navigate the systems and applications to secure those protections. You will also have more to protect, which, again, requires resources and effort when enforcing ownership rights.

To keep everything in line with the best interests of your business, it can be wise to work with a legal professional skilled in protecting intellectual property. With this type of support, you won’t have to manage the legal details of your intellectual property rights alone, allowing you to focus on other elements of your business.

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