Intellectual Property LawYou have a useful invention and you can make money off it; but the problem is you have never been in business before.

You can build a prototype yourself or hire a full-contract manufacturing services to oversee your invention’s production. Industry experts at Kenro suggest that you should know how to protect your invention from others who could steal your ideas.

Here’s some advice for protecting your invention. You do not know how to protect your invention from others who could copy it and steal your ideas.

Get a patent

If you have an invention that is new (nobody has done it before), innovative and useful, you can get a patent for it. Your invention is your intellectual property, and you should be able to benefit from it.

Get a patent for your invention at www.ipaustralia.gov.au. Remember, before you get a patent, do not publicly discuss your invention; keep it a secret. Anyone you discuss it with – say, a possible business partner – should sign a confidentiality agreement. That way, in case that person decides to steal the idea from you, you can legally enforce your patent.

Build a prototype

You may have different uses for a prototype, such as demonstrating it when you apply for a patent. You can use it to check if it will work or show it to potential investors. Depending on how complicated your invention is, you may be able to make a DIY prototype. You can also look for a proper company that offers contract manufacturing services. Such companies have no problem signing confidentiality agreements and keeping their clients’ property under wraps.

Your standard patent may last up to 20 years, during which time you can gain everything there is to gain from a product that is rightfully yours. If you decide to keep your invention a secret, using it only for the benefit of your business, you are running the risk of someone – such as an employee – finding out about it and making it public.

If that happens, you may file a case against the employee for divulging trade secrets, especially if they signed a contract that stipulates that condition. Without a patent, any person that employee may have talked to could copy or steal your design.

If you have an invention or an improvement to an existing invention, you should seriously consider applying for a patent. Whatever fees you have to pay or effort you make to get that patent will be worth the intellectual property right in the long run.