Startups can face challenges such as copying of their product or technology, or infringement of their patents, trademarks, or copyrights. Startups and intellectual property protection are therefore closely related, as intellectual property is often the foundation of a startup’s success.
Startups often have innovative ideas and are generally very creative in the way they solve problems. Startups and intellectual property protection form an important combination to consider. They can be considered innovative because they are often the originators of new ideas and technologies that disrupt traditional industries. Startups also often have passionate and agile teams capable of quickly pivoting their business model in response to customer feedback and market changes.
Startups may take a risk with IP when seeking to expand internationally as laws and practices vary from country to country. Cultural and linguistic differences can also complicate efforts to protect IP abroad.
As a startup, protecting your idea is crucial to ensure that no one else uses it without your permission.
There are several ways to protect your idea, including:
- Patents: A patent gives you the exclusive right to use your invention. Patents can protect inventions such as products, machines, processes, compositions of matter, or improvements to these elements. However, to obtain a patent, your invention must be new and non-obvious. Patents are generally valid for a period of 20 years.
- Trademarks: A trademark is a distinctive sign used to identify your products or services. Trademarks can include names, logos, slogans, sounds, and colors. Registering a trademark can give you the exclusive right to use that distinctive sign in connection with your business. Trademarks are generally valid for a period of 10 years.
- Copyrights: Copyrights protect works of the mind, such as books, articles, songs, films, and software. Copyrights give the holder the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display their work. Copyrights are generally valid for the life of the author plus 70 years.
It is important to note that intellectual property laws vary from country to country, and the protections you have in one country may not necessarily be valid in another.
If you are considering protecting your idea on an international scale, timestamping on the blockchain with Nondisclose.io is a viable solution for intellectual property protection in almost every part of the world.
Timestamping on the blockchain is a process that records the exact time a transaction occurred and stores it in an immutable and decentralized register called the blockchain. This technology can be used to prove the existence and ownership of a digital asset at a specific date and time.
In the event of plagiarism or infringement, Nondisclose.io‘s blockchain timestamping solution can be useful in proving ownership of an idea or invention at a specific moment. Courts may also require additional evidence such as patent or trademark registrations.
Note: To be patentable, an invention or concept must meet certain criteria established by law. In most countries, an invention must be:
- Novel: The invention must not be known to the public before the filing date of the patent application. If the invention has been publicly disclosed before the patent application, it may not be considered novel and therefore not patentable.
- Non-obvious: The invention must not be obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the relevant technical field. If the invention is considered obvious, it may not be considered a patentable invention.
- Useful: The invention must be useful and have a practical application.
- Patentable in nature: Patents can only be granted for inventions of a technical nature. Abstract ideas, scientific discoveries, mathematical methods, computer programs, and business methods are generally not patentable.
Hence, it is necessary to gather as much evidence as possible regarding the author and date of creation. This is exactly what Nondisclose.io provides, by allowing you to deposit all work files (documents, images, videos, code, technical specifications…) and issuing an immutable timestamped deposit certificate recorded on the blockchain.
Startups and intellectual property protection should be considered as an inseparable duo to ensure the success of your business in the long term.