This is a guest blog post written by a team member from Hawke Media’s partner, NXT Level. NXT Level helps its customers elevate everything from advertising to helping them raise capital.
What most entrepreneurs don’t understand about intellectual property (IP), is that it is the foundation of a solid business. Your patents, trademarks, copyrights, website domains, and other forms of IP can act as your protection while you raise capital.
Start With a Novel Patent Search
Where do you start? That answer is simple enough: start with a novel patent search. What is a novel patent search? It is a search for patents to determine if your idea is truly unique. While not mandatory, a novelty search is a good idea. If the novelty search doesn’t turn up anything, you’re more likely to get the patent for which you are applying.
If the idea of conducting a novelty search on your own is understandably daunting, our team of experts at NXT Level can discover whether or not your idea is novel, and or if there is any prior registered art. Prior art is a design that’s filed and accepted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), allowing the inventor to claim their idea.
Timing and Provisional Patents
Once verified that no prior art has been established, you can file for your provisional patent. This is not a formalized patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but allows the creator/brand one calendar year from your filing date to finalize or perfect the product. To file, you are essentially mailing a cover letter with a description of the concept, a list of the creators involved, and other relevant information. A list of requirements for your provisional patent filing are available at the USPTO website. Again, professionals like those at NXT Level simplify this process for creators.
This priority date plays an instrumental role throughout the entire IP/Patent process. If your idea is deemed “novel” from the initial search, your priority date states that you are first in line for your idea. This date will protect you should any competitors come out with your idea before you do. Once the year has expired on your provisional patent, the USPTO offers a Non-Provisional Patent & International Patent Coverage (if needed) to further protect your idea for up to 20 years.
The Value of Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property is only worth what someone feels the value of your idea can be or what the market dictates. Therefore, it is imperative that as an entrepreneur, you have a sound strategy to not only monetize your idea, but monetize your protected assets.
Owning patents, trademarks, copyrights, website domains, and other forms of intellectual property can give investors, distributors, and other important stakeholders the necessary safety net to feel comfortable investing time, and most importantly money into purchasing your product, and or your company.
Intellectual property will look a lot different from industry to industry, and thus so will the ways to generate revenue from owning the IP. For example, an academic institute can generate revenue from their IP by transferring proprietary rights or licensing. A corporate brand can collect revenue from a more profitable business that uses your technology for just a piece of what they do, such as a certain functionality in a smartphone.
Be sure to visit us at www.nxtlevelholdings.com to schedule a consultation regarding any of your IP concerns. We are here to assist you in taking your business to the NXT Level.