One brilliant idea can become a billion dollar enterprise. There is a handful of small scale business that became a worldwide sensation changing the way we live our lives. Take Uber, for example, a lot of the people now-a-days prefer the convenience of having a driver than driving yourself to work. Pushing a button to get a ride does beat the stress brought by heavy traffic and the endless search for a parking spot. Founders Kalanick and Camp were experiencing difficulties finding a cab one snowy night in Paris when they were hit with an idea that made transportation history. A simple idea of getting a safe and reliable ride whenever you need one was born. Since then, there the app is now available in 523 countries with over a billion connections with more services that just hiring a car.
The biggest fears entrepreneurs have is the theft of what could be a billion-dollar business. We may not be able to see into the future to see how well our business would turn up, but when a great idea hits, you will know instantaneously that it will be great. Imagine, if the Uber app idea was stolen, well. Customers might not be affected, but hey, wonder how Kalanick and Camp would feel.
Here are some tips for those budding entrepreneurs to ensure that they protect their business ideas:
Get a Patent
This form of Intellectual Property Rights is a set of rights granted to the owner of the process or invention that will prohibit other business to use the same process without prior permission. Patents are not just used for inventions, but they could also be used for business concepts and innovation. This is intended to protect business methods which say that the owner has exclusive rights, and this will surely give time to work in the rest of the process should there be a need. Getting a patent might be a little expensive and cumbersome, but the benefits of keeping your ideas yours make it all worthwhile. Those who have acquired patents and ensured that they are protected by national laws and enforced through civil lawsuits. If an infringement of the patent is proven, owners can be granted monetary compensation.
Get a trademark and registered it
Your identity is as good as the product that you sell and your business. Your logo and your trademark is another idea that is in danger of being stolen. To protect your logo, make sure that it is registered. Trademark is a word, a photo, a graphic, or anything that symbolizes your company and distinguishes them from others. Using the logo or slogan already gives the owner some kind of rights, but registering them will get it properly documented and claims ownership for the owner of the business. This will surely come in handy when cases of infringement are filed for the violation and will give the holder of the registration better chances and a winning hand.
Protect your software
The Software can also be placed under a patent, just like the one-click ordering system of Amazon. The Software can also be protected by Copyright laws where the author of an original work, may it be musical, literary, dramatic, or any other intellectual byproduct, whether it be published or not. This intellectual property right is given to the length of the life of the author plus 70 years. Even if the author meets their demise, their work is still protected and cannot be duplicated or sold.
Take action if others violate your brand
Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents are all there to protect your business, but if entrepreneurs do not exercise them when violated, these will just all be a useless pile of paper. Steve Jobs said that an idea is useless unless it is executed. If by any chance your Patented idea has been stolen and it can be proven that you hold the ownership, make sure to talk to a lawyer and how to send a ‘cease and desist’ order. If your trademark is trampled upon, used, or copied, make sure to take action; you have the patent, you have the trademark, then there is a bigger possibility of getting the civil courts on your side.
Cover business insurance
We have covered your Intellectual Property Rights; now let us cover the business itself. There are several kinds of insurances that will be beneficial for a startup company. General Liability Insurance protects your business from small on-site accidents and mishaps. Even the biggest company suffer a major monetary loss that can due to a slip and fall kind of lawsuit. It is important to get a Property Insurance as well to get your goods and physical assets protected from manmade loss or damage. Lastly, business will also benefit from Workers Insurance once that they have started hiring their man power. This will not only ensure that your employee’s welfare is protected, but protect the company as well from employee-related lawsuits.