Many people tell me they have the “A-Ha!” moment and think of a unique product or idea.
Then STOP, it goes nowhere.
Because many people worry that even talking to anyone about their idea would allow someone to “scoop” it… they have no idea how to protect their idea. And this hurdle stops them from continuing. That’s unfortunate because we all come from different life experiences that lend to creativity which could be the creation of an amazing idea the world needs to have! And YOU could be that creator and the next Steve Jobs!
When I created Dig It Handwear®, I realized the unique feature of a Pillow-top Protector® built into each fingertip to save your nails from damage and debris was a simple idea. And I began protecting that idea.
How? My simple steps to follow to take the next steps:
- Do a Google search on your idea! Seems basic but we can think we are unique and voila, its already on the market
- Do not spend money on an idea until you totally understand if it’s unique. This requires legal guidance.
- Find a really great Intellectual Property (IP) lawyer. I went through three law firms before I found one I aligned with. I equate it to dating: make sure the communication is clear and they can boil down concepts to understandable bite-size pieces so you have a great foundation.
- Try to determine ahead of time how big you want to take your idea: local, state-wide, countrywide, continent-wide, hemisphere-wide and/or global. Knowing how big you want to take it could help determine the strategy and how quickly you need to protect your idea.
- Understand the process of the difference between trademarks, copyrights, patents etc and when and how you file what and when.
- Get quotes upfront. Do not be afraid to ask how much the process can cost and the stages…you do not have to do everything at the same time. It can be done in stages and that can help with the cash flow.
My two cents: spend the money on a great lawyer and you will deflect many headaches and money on possible issues in the future.
Crocs, a common, household name footwear company began with an idea! They started in 2003 and almost every corner of North America knows this brand. And even Crocs spend time, effort and money on protecting their invention and brand.
You too can be the next great idea!