We recently attended a business conference and one of the questions asked by an attendee was “How do I protect my business ideas when I’m pitching to others”. What a great question and one that every startup (and developing) business should consider.
There are some good practical points given in the attached article. I agree there are basic steps that you can easily follow as a starting point. And happily, you can follow these without much effort, for example getting a confidentiality agreement signed at the point of first approaching someone and then making sure you identify and retain your IP rights in any subsequent agreement.
These agreements don’t need to be huge treatises. A simple, but well-worded, email exchange confirming that both parties agree to its content may be sufficient to protect you. There’s no need to feel awkward or embarrassed about ensuring that people you’re talking to understand what you consider to be your IP and how important it is to you.
Knowing what your rights are and how to protect them is the key. Some IP rights, for example, trademarks and patents, can be registered with the Intellectual Property Office which will put the public on notice that you are the owner. Registering your rights can make protecting it a little bit easier.
We’ve created a simple free guide on intellectual property, including explaining the different types and how you can protect it. To access our guide click here. It’s packed full of infographics, case studies, checklists and more helpful tips and pointers, putting you in control of what you’ve created.
To find out more about ensuring what you disclose to others remains confidential and isn’t unfairly copied – or worse, we have a free guide for this as well. You can get hold of it right away, here.
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I can’t tell you how often I hear this from clients. A lot of startups are understandably a bit nervous to talk openly about their app idea without any legal protection or ownership.