How can you protect yourself?
Name your product, service or concept. Then trademark it. Someone can steal the product idea but they can’t steal the name.
Copyright, trademark and patent the idea itself if you can. You are completely defenseless if you don’t. (But be aware that many fashion “ideas” are not easily defined in ways that can be trademarked – that’s why a trademarked name is important). Many questions of ownership and rights are determined by the date a trademark was filed.
Copyright is often determined by usage: if you’re using it, it’s yours.
By owning a patent, you are protected.
These solutions are all great but be aware that to go after someone for infringement can be expensive and often large companies are well aware of the financial advantage they have over you when “borrowing” ideas. So above all, speak with an attorney so you know exactly where you stand in this area.
AND MARKET. MARKET BIG. MARKET FAST. Get your name out there…
eventually all ideas are picked up by others, so being first and loud is your best defense.
Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.