A creative thought process lays the foundation for every endeavor. Whether you launch a new product, write a screenplay or develop a fine-tuned sales system, you would be wise to secure intellectual property (IP) rights.
Despite the various forms of legal IP protection (such as a patent, copyright or trademark), you cannot protect a mere idea. Critical though your thoughts may be, IP rights are only available for concepts brought to fruition.
The money is in manifestation
IP rights commonly fall under the following categories:
- Patent – Allows an inventor to decide how others may use their invention
- Copyright – Prohibits unauthorized use of artistic works
- Trademark – The distinguishing mark that identifies a brand
Additionally, trade secrets consist of confidential information that could be licensed or sold. In business, the alleged misuse of such proprietary information is often a litigious offense.
A simplistic offering is likely preferable to a thought
You might rather keep concepts undisclosed than potentially provide ideation from which others could benefit. Instead, it may be advantageous to quickly produce a legitimate manifestation of that which you’d like to register.
Instead of containing every possible feature, a minimum viable product (MVP) could be the best way to proceed. Getting a nominal model into the hands of your target market could help you:
- Save time and money
- Measure sales potential
- Determine specifications
- Establish a customer base
Depending on your circumstances, an MVP could be a valuable approach to development. It may also open the door for you to secure financial rights to your innovation while you manufacture the specific product you originally had in mind.