Dos & Don'ts
Check existing developments before you start
If you are launching a new product onto the market or a starting a company, check to see if the name has already been registered before you start working on your corporate identity and website.
Make agreements on Intellectual Property rights
If you are working with others, ALWAYS make clear and written agreements about Intellectual Property rights. You will not be the first to end up in a situation where a freelancer or design agency runs off with your invention!
Gather information about your competitors’ IP portfolio
And monitor it closely. It is a source of useful information.
Do not simply accuse someone of an infringement
If, in retrospect, this does not appear to be the case, you can be held liable for the consequences.
Do not draft a patent application yourself
A patent application is a legal document and the drafting of such a document requires specific expertise. If just one element is described incorrectly, your patent may be worthless, so do not write a patent application yourself.
Contact a Patent Attorney
Contact a Patent Attorney as soon as your invention starts to take shape. S/he will help you give direction to your idea and create maximum entrepreneurial scope.
Conduct research at an early stage
Conduct research into patent literature at an early stage to:
- find out whether your idea can be patented;
- gain insight into the market;
- prevent a situation in which you infringe an existing patent.
Keep your idea to yourself until you have filed the application
Keep your idea secret until you have filed the application. Failing to do so will often mean it is no longer possible to apply for a patent. So:
- do not test it in public;
- do not present it at a seminar or exhibition;
- do not tell people about it at a party!