Often, when SMEs are considering how to progress their businesses, Intellectual Property (IP) appears further down the list of priorities than many other considerations. Yet taking the time to protect your ideas can put your business in brilliant stead for future growth. Below we have outlined the key things all small businesses and entrepreneurs need to know when beginning their exploration into Intellectual Property.
Organisation is key
Think ahead when you are devising your product and file your patent application well in advance of going to market. This will ensure that the process isn’t rushed and you have water-tight protection at the time of launch.
Seek advice from the experts
Intellectual Property protection is a myriad of rules and regulations so make sure you seek expert advice along the way. Getting it right can be hugely beneficial. However, getting it wrong can be financially devastating in some cases.
It goes without saying that many owners of SMEs will know their businesses inside out but it’s important that you think carefully about the different innovations and technology featured in your products. It is possible that more than one patent application may be needed, as well as brand protection (trade mark) and a design registration.
Inspire and Innovate
Patent applications have been sought (and secured) for some of the most doubted ideas before; for example the first ever telephone was met with scepticism when Alexander Graham Bell filed a patent for the product in 1876. So, encourage your employees to be creative and innovative as you never know where this might lead.
Keep your ideas under lock and key
Ensure that you don’t disclose any ideas before the patent application has been submitted. Whether the comment is verbal, in writing, offline or online, it can be classed as publication of your invention which can destroy your right to obtain patent pr