If your business idea is as good as Maxine’s, you can’t wait to start making and selling your product. But how can you make sure that no-one copies or steals your idea? The law won’t protect Maxine’s idea for a flying shoe, but it will protect how she expresses her idea. There are four different types
of legal protection available. 1. Trade mark 2. Design registration 3. Patents 4. Copyright A trade mark can protect your business name or logo It distinguishes your products and services from your competitors, helping you create a memorable brand. When you register a trade mark, you can stop other businesses from using that mark without your permission. Design registration will protect the aesthetics of your product. For example, the shape or pattern. It’s important that your design is new and distinctive. This means it must not be identical
to any existing design that has been disclosed publicly. A patent will protect the function of an invention which contains a novel feature. Your invention is novel if it’s unique, and works in a way that would not be obvious to others in your industry. For example, Maxine could register a patent for the technology she’s created to make her shoe fly. That technology would be new and unlike anything that already exists. Copyright automatically protects the original expression of an idea like music, artwork or films. So once Maxine writes her own shoe jingle, she doesn’t need to register anything to receive legal protection for her lyrics and melody. She has the exclusive right to use the jingle, and can stop anyone from reproducing it without her permission. Finally, you can ask someone to sign a ‘non-disclosure agreement’ or NDA to keep your ideas confidential. So, Maxine may meet with a product designer to explain her idea before engaging their services. But before Maxine discloses any information, she could ask the designer to sign an NDA to make sure the designer doesn’t use her information. If you have a great business idea worth protecting, get in touch with LegalVision’s IP lawyers today.