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How to Protect your Design Idea

How to Protect your Design Idea
18/11/2019

Once you’ve gone through all the blood, sweat and tears of designing your invention you need to protect its long-term profitability. This means following the necessary steps to prevent a third party from stealing or ‘borrowing’ your idea to develop an identical product that will undermine all your hard work. Luckily there are ways and means of securing the right level of protection so you can take the project forward to the next stage. Read on to find out how to protect your product idea.

Author rights

When talking about the author, it is a phrase widely used in copyright law to refer to the person responsible for creating the piece of work, be it a design or anything else. It was originally used in literary and artistic circles but it has since become common place for inventors to be referred to as the authors of their creation.

At heart, the term refers to the inventor having both the economic and moral rights to the ownership of the invention. In economic terms it means they can authorise or prevent uses of the invention and payment is required if permission is granted (unless the author decides otherwise). These rights can also be transferred or licensed if desired.

The moral aspect of author rights allows you to protect your work from being used in an unsatisfactory way or out of context. These are uniquely individual rights and cannot be traded with anyone else. It allows the author to guarantee a certain level of quality and maintain ethical standards and authenticity when the invention is used elsewhere.

Applying for a patent

Protecting the product is one thing, but you should also look at protecting the actual design itself. When it comes to intellectual property protections, securing a patent is one of the strongest solutions available. It is able to cover a number of different types of intellectual property, from the manufacturing method and concept, to how the product itself works. One of the biggest benefits a patent offers is that it not only protects the way it looks but also the underlying nature of the product.

Before a patent can be successfully granted there are a number of requirements that need to met. One of the most important is having the design thoroughly examined by a patent inspector who will check it meets the relevant criteria. A patent search will also be conducted to ensure the product does not clash with any previously registered invention. There are also some types of products that are not able to be patented. This includes things like mathematical formulas and naturally-occurring substances.

A design patent should be applied for if you have come up with a creative product design. These types of patent will offer protection for an extensive range of products, whether it’s a vehicle of some kind, or a piece of technology. If your application for a design patent is successful, you will retain rights to the design for a period of 20 years, which will prevent anyone from legally attempting to copy your design.

And remember, patents provide territorial rights, which means it only applies to the country in which you applied. Additional patents will be required for other countries if you are targeting different markets. You can find out more about the costs involved with applying for a patent by visiting the gov.uk website.

For more information on  How to Protect your Design Idea  talk to  LUMA-iD Ltd

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