Finding a cash injection for a new product or goods in the 21st century usually means pitching to potential investors. If it’s a never seen before invention, then the door is open for those who see the idea then taking it as their own, creating it and selling it before you have a chance to protect your years of hard work.
Revealing details about the company and the invention means that idea theft is a concern but without asking for financial help, there’s often very little opportunity for development and a great invention without backing can quickly fall by the wayside.
There are however, a few steps any business can take to stop theft during the research and development period when they need to share the idea and invention with others.
Don’t reveal everything
Only reveal what is absolutely necessary at any given time. If it’s a potential client, they don’t need to know every detail of how your invention works, it’s more about why the product is needed on the market. The only possible exception here is if you’re talking to the bank about finance; they will want to know a great amount of detail but will obviously be bound by customer confidentiality.
Use confidentiality agreements
It’s virtually impossible to keep every aspect of an invention to yourself; you’ll need to talk to business partners for example but you still need to keep control of the sensitivity of the plans. To stop anyone commercially close to you telling anybody else, ask them to sign a confidentiality agreement.
Look at the use of a trademark
The use of a trademark will give extra protection because the name of your company is usually closely tied in with your invention. Having a trademark also gives you extra legal protection and the date the trademark was registered can be used as written evidence that you came up with the idea at a specific time rather than by another company at a future date.
Research who you’ll be showing your idea to
Business information is now readily available through industry social media profiles and forums. Before carrying out any presentations, check out who you will be showing your blueprints to and whether there’s any chance that it could be something they may want to use themselves and beat you to the market.
Patent at the earliest stage
Patent attorneys at londonip.co.uk are always on hand to help with any stage of a patent application. Talk to them when you’re at the idea stage so you know exactly how you stand with whether you require a patent to protect yourself and when you’ll need to start the process. It can take a lengthy amount of time to gain one so don’t leave it until you’re ready to reveal all to the commercial world.
Follow your nose
Whilst the vast majority of investors wouldn’t want to tarnish their reputation by stealing ideas and new businesses have many ideas of their own as to how they will make their first million, still be cautious with who you talk to and the level of interest in your product. Use your instincts – if you feel they are asking too many inappropriately detailed questions, don’t feel you have to answer them. If they are committed to helping they will carry on being supportive if you say you feel the information they are looking for is currently sensitive and still under wraps.