How To Protect Your Budding Business
Youve heard the term necessity is the mother of invention. This is how most new products start out, an idea in someones mind that solves a common problem that most people experience on a regular basis. Many would be entrepreneurs are watching TV some time later to find that their fantastic idea has already been taken.
A patent is protection for the inventor, giving them exclusive rights to any product or process they created. There is a limit on the length of the patent. Once expired, others can now sell, promote or otherwise improve upon the patented product. This is seen in the drug industry where when a drug is initially released to the public, its sold under a brand name and when the patent expires, other companies manufacture and sell the drug under its generic name at a lower cost. Patent laws vary from country to country and you would need to verify that within your country of origin.
Once you have developed and patented your product, legally protecting the name might be the next step in establishing your business. You protect the product name by having the name registered as a trademark. The name represents the product and you dont want any confusion as to what product that name refers to. Once your patent expires, there will be many entrepreneurs that will begin selling the product, and you want to make sure yours is protected. This insures that the original is the best and consumers will be more likely to buy the original than what they perceive as a knock off. By registering the name of your product as a trademark, you are legally protected from anyone using the term for the purpose of sales or promotion.
If your product is a book, music, artwork or some other expression of your ideas, you can get protection for it under copyright laws. In most cases, a copyright is based on the ability to prove original ownership by its creator and does not need to be registered. It is recommended that you keep any original manuscript or recording to prove that you were the original author.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you have put a lot of time and effort into developing your product and you need to protect yourself for the long term success of your business. With many larger companies having the resources to fight any potential rights issues, you need to be positioned legally to maintain your claim to the next best thing.
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Filed under: Legal Bud
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