Behind every great product or service is a great idea. That’s why ensuring that your idea is well protected, especially when pitching it to fellow investors and business partners is crucial. Most innovators and startups patent their inventions to prevent competitors and other people from commercially exploiting their product or service. If you are wondering how do you patent an idea, then remember that you can never patent an idea unless and until you can produce a product built upon the idea. If you fail to do so, then your patent application will in all likelihood be rejected.
But even if you don’t have a tangible invention or product, for now, you can pitch your idea to investors. However, you should be cautious and take all possible measures to protect your idea.
Here are 6 Things that You should do to Protect Your Idea When Making a Business Pitch
#1. Select Your Investors Wisely
Choose investors who are trustworthy and reputed. A good way to do so is by opting for startup incubator programs and other ecosystems that introduce you to investors with a proven track record. If you feel that the investor you are introducing your idea to isn’t trustable, take your time and look out for investors who have a strong background in working with startups and entrepreneurs.
#2. Don’t Reveal All The Information
A business pitch is an art. Instead of bombarding your audience with all the information, be wise enough to highlight only the information that is of interest to your audience. A general thumb of the rule is to stick to numbers or statistics when pitching to potential numbers. There is no need to reveal how your product works, the underlying technology framework, etc.
All you should focus on giving away is no more than a clear perspective on the market size, the business potential of your idea, the expected revenue, the growth potential. If these things don’t interest your investors then there is no reason why any other information would.
#3. Sign A Non Disclosure Agreement
Let’s say you have a list of investors who are more than interested in your idea but they need a sneak peek into your plans to turn that idea into a successful product. In such a case, the best step forward is a non-disclosure agreement.
The non-disclosure agreement will defend your idea from being stolen by people you are disclosing them to. The recipient is bound to face legal consequences if he or she fails to uphold the terms and conditions of the non-disclosure agreement.
#4. Keep Your Pitch Well-Documented
Make it a point to document every information you are disclosing to third parties during the business pitch. You can even choose to record your pitch to avoid any unwanted friction or claim of infringement in the future.
Documenting your business pitch will allow you to revisit the details and prepare a strong response against any claims of infringement from your competitors when you launch your product. Plus, it will also act as proof if you discover that your idea has been copied by a member or group of the audience present during your business pitch.
#5. Be Very Wise During Q&A’s
Naturally, the audience you are pitching will have a set of questions to inquire in detail about various aspects of your idea. While there is no reason why you should not give an apt response to every query, it is equally important that you reveal only that much which is necessary and nothing more.
There are many ways to dodge tricky questions as well. You can consult a communication expert in this regard. Watch some Youtube videos on how Government speakers handle tough or overly inquisitive reporters. You will learn a lot about how to communicate your idea without disclosing it all.
#6. Hire a Patent Attorney
Last but not least, a patent attorney is someone who can play a key role in ensuring your idea remains well-protected when you are pitching it to potential investors. A patent attorney offers important expertise to identify the information that you should and should not share in your business pitch.
Moreover, the patent attorney’s experience and expertise can be used to draft a more robust non-disclosure agreement that will offer maximum protection to your idea.
Also Read: How to Convert Apps Users into customers
Hiring The Right Patent Attorney
It is said that a bad patent attorney can not only put your idea at higher risk or copy and infringe, he or she can also bleed millions out of your pocket in the process. That’s why you should always hire your patent attorney wisely.
Here are a few tips following which you can hire the best patent attorney:
# Area of Expertise:
Does the patent attorney have relevant experience in the technology you are using to build your product? If not then look for someone who has had considerable experience in the technology domain.
# The Success Rate:
Ask your potential patent attorney the number of patent applications he or she has filed before the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s, and how many out of these were approved. The patent acceptance rate in the USA is nearly 50%. Anything above this should be acceptable for you.
#Attention To Detail:
Your attorney will be representing your idea before the patent examiner. As such he must be able to explain even the most complex and complicated aspects of the invention clearly to the patent examiner. This is only possible if the attorney is willing to understand your idea and its underlying technology to the last detail.
#Ready To Research:
It is natural if the patent attorney has limited experience in your business domain. But he must be ready to put in the extra hours and understand how the industry works. Unless the attorney is willing to do research, your patent application may fail to properly highlight the aspects that make your idea and invention unique, novel and patent-worthy.
In addition to the above factors, it is important to look for feedback about the potential patent attorney from his previous clients. In all likelihood, the patent attorney will have a website. Search online and look for reviews and experiences shared by previous clients. At the end of it all, you will have a clear idea about the expertise and experience of the potential patent attorney.
Read More: How You Shouldn’t Handle a Cyber Attack?
Turning ideas into a successful business is not easy. Besides the hard work and technology innovation that goes behind the making of a great product or service, there is always the threat of the idea being stolen by competitors.
If you’re so worried about disclosing your idea to potential investors, then it’s always wise to seek advice and guidance from Patent Services USA. With a patent attorney at your service, you will be able to know whether your idea qualifies for patent protection. And, even if the idea isn’t patent-ready, the patent attorney will ensure that your idea remains well protected against commercial exploitation from those you share your idea with.