If you have developed a superior way of doing something – from manufacturing, through to software or a business process – then your first move should be to protect your idea from others who might seek to copy it.
It is a good idea to retain an intellectual property lawyer you will advise you on the best ways to use the law to protect your new idea and the man hours that you have put in to it. It may be that you can patent your idea, as vacuum cleaner magnate James Dyson has done successfully. Dyson’s company has registered dozens of patents covering innovations in cyclonic air handling technology, and developments to electric motors. Without having this patent, his ideas would have been copied by other manufacturers and he would not have made anywhere near the same amount of money. Alternatively there are options to do with copyright or trademark registration, which may suit your business better and provide adequate protection for your needs.
An experienced intellectual property solicitor will know the latest developments in the law which will effect the protection of IP, they will thus be in the best position to advise you on how to stop others from using your commercial advantage.
A good way to market your business may be by licensing your protected technology or idea to others and take a royalty from them using it. This recognises the value you have created, but allows you to harness the effort of others to help take your new development to a wider marketplace, more quickly. The Apple iPhone is a good example of a innovative product reeling in 3rd parties by allowing them to create apps, which in turn furthers the phone’s appeal across the market place.
Intellectual property law is fast paced and constantly developing, therefore chances are if you rely on old documents or cases you will inadequately protect yourself. It is frequently the case that new ideas or process struggle for money in the early days and therefore it is tempting to not pay out for legal advice, however if it turns out that your IP is not adequately protected then you will loose money in the future. By having a soundly protected concept, it is all the easier in the future to defend your unique idea against those who will try to copy or mimic it. Many legal battles are fought over whether one new product or service copies an existing one – and the impact for both parties can be dramatic, particularly if the product has high value or mass market appeal.