If you are developing a new product, protecting your idea is critical for many reasons. David Fannin of Sorcit has some tips to help you.
We know how precious your ideas are and how easy it is for people to copy them, or even make ‘another version’ with slight modifications on your own design. It is sometimes difficult for individuals to protect their ideas before they expose them to design/manufacture consultants; in an aim to get their idea from their head onto paper and developed into reality. It’s a potential minefield; and limiting who and what you expose at different stages is one way to shield your ideas rather than exposing all the idea at once. Seeking advice from Patent attorney, or the patent office is always advisable before you see anyone with your ideas. A simple NON- DISCLOSURE agreement is another way to protect your idea before you expose it to any third parties. These are readily available from many sources, including your local BUSINESS LINK office.
So not only do we respect the concept at every stage, we also help you to protect it with advice on intellectual property rights, Patents, Copyrights and design registration. All these methods of protection are different in many ways and offer different degrees of protection. A lot depends on what your product is, and what you need to protect whether it be the aesthetics, function or purely just a design idea. Sorcit can assess your protection requirements and help to advise the route you need to take. We can also help to search for products that could be in the public domain and assess if the idea is worth protecting from the outset.
Our experience with Far East manufacturers ensures we undertake rigorous checks on potential manufacturers, and we only work with partners we are sure will 100% protect your ideas . We also require factories to sign a non-disclosure agreement (also known as an NDA) before we agree to discuss any concepts or drawings. If we get to a stage where tooling is needed, then the customer/Sorcit will pay for the tooling which we have ownership of, and cannot be used for any of the factories other customers. If required, we can remove the tooling at any point to ensure it is not being used.
A very easy form of protection before your ideas are disclosed would be to date your ideas/drawings, put a copy in a sealed envelope and post to yourself with an official post date mark.
Sorcit specialises in taking individuals ideas and developing them from concept through to manufacture. Over the coming months, Sorcit will provide exclusive advice here on Prototyping, Manufacture, Quality Control, Shipping/Logistics, Branding and Marketing/Promotion.
Look at www.sorcitproducts.com for more information about their services and to see examples of recent projects.
Read more about registering and protecting your product ideas in the Family Friendly Working Book.
Join She’s Ingenious for support for women inventors.