Peter Jones

Protect Your Idea

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4.3 Reality check: safeguarding your idea?

Your business ideas have commercial value. You need to protect them. Here is my checklist of actions you should take:

  1. Have you registered or applied to register the company name with Companies House?
  2. Have you secured your domain name to safeguard your brand?
  3. Are you happy with your prototype?
  4. Have you checked that nobody else has got there before you via www.patent.gov.uk? Is your idea genuinely novel?
  5. Have you asked potential manufacturers to sign a simple confidentiality agreement and applied for a trade mark or patent before starting negotiations?
  6. Do you have everything in writing with partners, manufacturers, suppliers?
  7. Have you catalogued everything? Including notes, sketches, diagrams, contracts, letters and e-mails?
  8. Have you marked the copyright symbol, name of copyright owner and year of creation on all written, literary or artistic work?
  9. Do you know when your domain name will be up for renewal?
  10. Have you looked into licensing your rights wholly or in part to generate income from your IP assets?
  11. Have you researched competitors and market entrants? Are you paying attention to new trade marks being advertised?
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