If you want to run a creative business that brings products to market, you will constantly be on the lookout for new and exciting innovations that promise to refresh or renew your corner of the industry. Whether you would like to create the ideas yourself or invest in concepts that other people bring to your table, you will want to get the best from these innovations. Managing the IP of your startup will, therefore, be essential.
With a number of areas that you need always to be mindful about, IP–or intellectual property–and patent management are two such aspects of your business that you really need to take seriously and thoroughly scrutinize.
Protecting Your Rights
A major area that you should always have an eye on in your business relates to the ownership of your idea. If you have developed an original product, then you will need to protect your rights to this product. If you do not do this, other people may come along and make replicas and trade off your hard work. You may also want to consider applying for a trademark and copyright if your work is a creative piece.
Before your product hits the market, you should ensure that all of the patent applications that relate to it have been submitted and approved. Having your patent in place will mean that if you find your product has been copied, you will be able to take the matter to court to stop further infringements. You will also be able to seek damages from anyone that has produced imitations.
Having a trademark in place means your name, logo, phrase etc. cannot be copied. A copyright protects any creative piece (song, photograph, video, etc.) from being copied. These are all important key elements in protecting any intellectual property. If your company has information such as ingredients/recipes, processes, marketing plans, etc. they want to keep secret they can. This is called proprietary information or trade secrets.
Knowing your product’s potential market value is going to be vital when it comes to determining how much investment to put into it. You can do this through thorough market research.
You will first want to create a business plan. This will involve finding out what potential customers think of the product, whether it would sell in its current state or would need further development, and how successful it would be selling at the price that you are considering setting it at.
You will also want to see how well key concepts around the product come across. Do people understand the features and benefits? How do potential customers react to marketing such as advertisements that you may have developed or to packaging designs and concepts?
The more you can find out before you inject money into bringing a product to market, the better.
Keeping An Eye On The Competition
Working out what other products are on the market that may be in any way similar is essential. How does your product differ from that one? How well does the nearest comparable product compare in terms of sales? Creating a full and thorough SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities) for your concept and your competitor’s products will be crucial. This will make sure that you are getting the best from your ideas before you invest further.
Protecting your companies intellectual property is vital. Researching the market and comparing/contrasting your product with that of your competitors is also essential. Putting your money into projects without this level of depth and understanding, and without protections of patents, would be risky.