If he’d had an IP lawyer, Leonardo Da Vinci would have been the richest estate in history. That’s what Thomas Edison did, see. He managed a business that invented 512 things, and he kept his paperwork in order to make sure his intellectual property remained protected.
Let Mr. Edison be our man in this conversation. Da Vinci can inspire us at a different stage.
Is there something on the market similar to your idea? Intellectual properties include design. Do your homework. Find out if it’s out there already.
Begin trademark search registration early in the idea stage. Get it out of the way. There are tools available that can provide some quick feedback on a potential business name, product, or design. Consulting with a Trademark attorney is important. Trademark registration can be costly, both in money and time. Find allies in making it work.
All categories of business have specific trademark categories. Books—electronics—cosmetics—software—art—all sorts. Registering a trademark takes time needs the expertise of people like Trademark attorneys. There is also a time limit on how long you can have the trademark without using the mark. In addition, your trademark may be available in one region, i.e., the U.S. but not in Europe.
Trademarks and Intellectual Property are your identities. You will spend a lot of time and money building a persona. We all want to have an air of credibility and quality. Having a trademark protects you. Many countries require that you have a trademark to do business in the country. E-Commerce sellers require that brands who sell on their sites have trademark certification. Think of your intellectual properties as part of the Assets column.
I worked with a brand that launched an eyebrow stencil. It never dawns on us that someone would or could trademark an eyebrow stencil design. Someone had, however, and we were infringing on their patent unknowingly. The brand was asked to pay a royalty on each stencil we sold. Fortunately, this item was a slow seller so paying a small royalty did not have a huge impact. Errors like this can cause brands great losses. They add up.
Do you know if your intellectual property could be challenged? Have you identified your intellectual properties? Are you considering taking your brand global? Remember intellectual property laws can vary from region to region. Intellectual property includes more than your company or brand name. Your Logo, formulas, product names, can be considered intellectual property.
Perhaps you only need to know more about Trademark and Intellectual Property. But maybe you need to know all 7 Idea-To-Launch steps to product development and launching an idea from concept to Amazon / Shopify and across social media platforms. We have a workshop for every point of your evolution.
ATHENA's Ed.Note: Desiree, our Co-Founder, has been at the forefront of legacy conversations around all things melanin for over 2 decades. A Lead Educator for Hopenclass and FutureLearn, Desiree's hands-on experiences can be contextualized in Thinking 360 - An Interactive Insightful Workshop