Dear Aunty B,
I have a great new design business with a catchy name. The idea and the business model are unique. In my last business, a key customer ripped off my ideas. What I would like to know from you is, what should I protect?
You too? We all think our business models and ideas are unique. If only the regulators agreed with us!
Look Daryl, you should get advice on this. There is no point going down the path of seeking protection if you are being naïve about “uniqueness”. On the other hand, protecting your IP is a critical part of business.
The place to start is trademark your company name and website name. It is not very expensive, provides some level of protection and can be counted as an asset when you sell the business. You can either do this yourself online or save time and pay a bit more by using a lawyer. While going through this process, ask lots of questions. You are obviously a serial entrepreneur who will benefit in the future from this knowledge.
Daryl, you will be interested to know that a recent study of fast growing companies by RMIT University shows that about 36% of companies had protected their innovation through patents or trademarks. And guess what? The majority of those felt the protection had worked.
On the other hand, I know software companies with terrific innovations that do not bother to protect their innovation because the market moves too fast and they reckon their energy and
resources are better spent on further innovation.
Your Aunty B