It is pretty common to hear of giant tech companies announcing remarkable features like those designed by smaller companies. This can leave you wondering whether you can protect your ideas or perhaps how much protection is available. However, when you have an excellent idea, you tend to share it with somebody you know and trust. Unfortunately, this is too risky in today’s highly competitive age. So you might consider these tips to prevent your ideas or work from getting stolen.
1. Secure your communications
Hackers are getting skillful and more sophisticated every day, so you need secure communication. A professional hacker may be able to view your communications within minutes after using an unsecured messaging platform, either through your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Fortunately, some apps and platforms use encryptions to ensure information isn’t accessed by unauthorized parties. Encrypted communications typically use secret numerical codes rather than plain text to prevent anybody else from accessing the information besides the intended receiver.
2. Don’t advertise
Keeping an idea to yourself is the best way to protect it. While testing ideas before moving forward is critical, it is important to ensure that your ideas are well-protected during this stage. It is not surprising that many entrepreneurs are hesitant to share their innovative ideas, especially when they believe it’s truly unique and wouldn’t want them to be stolen. However, you may have to take some calculated risks if the idea isn’t ready for the next level or require some refinement. While you don’t want your fears to hold you back, you should avoid advertising it until you are convinced of the path you want to take.
3. Get ideas Trademarked or Copyrighted
Copyright legally secures your intellectual property from being used by others without your permission. While you may not be able to copyright the idea, you can copyright almost everything else, including software, books, photos, and film. Copyright protects the time and effort you invest in developing an original idea into a finished product. When you copyright your work, you become the only one who can reproduce, sell, communicate, transfer ownerships, or allow derivative concepts about your original work.
Other ways to protect your intellectual property include patents and trademarks or trade secrets. You may want to talk to some patent law attorneys to know how best you can protect your valuable assets.
In most cases, physical proof may be required to support your intellectual property claims. For instance, a novel will have to be written before it can be copyrighted, just as machines may have to be constructed or designed first. For this reason, it is vital to put your concept into writing or make a model to safeguard it. Timestamping your idea is also a good approach to show that the idea came from you. You can send an email containing a complete description of your concept to yourself to create a timestamp and verify that the idea wasn’t floating around the internet.