‘How to safeguard your tech ideas’
Experts have proffered ways to protect intellectual property (IP) from theft, and safe guard technology ideas, as breakthroughs are recorded almost on daily basis.
Cyberspace lawyer, Timi Olagunju, told The Guardian that intellectual property of innovation and invention has three levels of protection – patent, trademark and copyright.
In the recent time, IP theft has been on the increase, with the courts inundated with litigations on violations and trespass, which can be checked through proper protection measures.
For Olagunju, “Copyright of an idea has to do with written materials like proposals, books, music, video production that must be in a tangible form. Trademark, meaning making a mark on your trade is for logos, peculiar names for a trade; and patenting is done for inventions, in this case, it is not a proposal, it is an idea designed in its prototype form.”
He also highlighted that when you make a proposal for an invention, you copyright and trademark it, adding that if it is not in its physical form it cannot be patented.
Olagunju noted that generally, every tech venture should be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), as a business or partnership company to enable transactions, distinct from the founder or partners.
Furthermore, he said when one secures a domain name; it should be trademarked alongside the logo. He added that copyright is imperative for proposals to companies for a service or idea that is tech related, saying: “information technology (IT) world generally operate around trademark and copyright because it is intangible except for, tangible ideas such as phones that you patent.”
According to a report from Forbes, the top response to the concern on idea theft is that most people have no interest in taking someone else’s idea and turning it into a multi-million-dollar business. Accordingly, this is especially true of investors, whose reputations could be severely damaged by such behaviours.
Also, those who want to start their own businesses generally have ideas in spades and are seeking funding to get those ideas off the ground.
“However, as an idea or business grows and pitching becomes increasingly important to seek investors, new clients, or even new employees, the business owner may repeatedly reveal details about the company to others therefore, precautions should be taken to prevent theft as they begin to share their ideas with others,” it stated.
Relating his experience, IT Solution Specialist, Charles Dada, said he had lost three ideas, which were implemented by the people he shared them with but he could not lay claims to benefits due to lack of proof. He said his oversight included: lack of awareness, revealing too much detail, inadequate research and assumptions of recipients and no documentation.
Nonetheless, he implored trademark, copyright, patent, proper documentations, adequate research, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) when necessary will insure your tech ideas.
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