A business start-up project always starts with an idea that, depending on its nature and innovative character, must be protected.
However, it is the materialization of the idea that can be protected: software, model, brand, invention.
To protect themselves, the entrepreneur can assert his right to intellectual property to prevent a third party from taking ownership of his work. Intellectual property is split into two parts: industrial property rights and copyrights.
Protect your idea with industrial property rights
To benefit from protection under industrial property rights, formalities must be carried out. There are 3 deposits: the filing of a patent or a utility certificate, the filing of a trademark and the filing of a design or model.
The filing of a patent or utility certificate
The patent offers the holder an operating monopoly of up to 20 years. The products or processes that can be patented are those that fulfill the following 4 conditions:
They constitute a technical solution to a technical problem
They are new
They come from an inventive activity or invention
And they can be made or used
To go further on this point: how to file a patent
The filing of a trademark
A mark consists of a word, figurative or sound sign that identifies a product, service trade or business. In order for it to be registered, the mark must be distinctive and original.
The filing of designs
The protection afforded by the filing of the designs is valid for 5 years; it applies to the appearance of a product or part of a product and its ornament. The deposit is made and it is possible only if the design or model is different from the designs that have already been publicly disclosed.
Protect your idea with copyrights
The Code of Intellectual Property states that "the author of a work of the mind enjoys on this work, by the mere fact of its creation, an exclusive property right that is opposable to all. This right includes intellectual and moral attributes as well as patrimonial attributes. "
Copyright protects only works of the mind and software is one of them. No special formality is required to benefit from copyright protection. However, it is advisable to build evidence to be able to attest the ownership of the creation.
Several methods make it possible to establish proofs in terms of copyrights:
Make a deposit with a bailiff or a notary,
Make a deposit with one of the collecting and distributing societies,
Or make a deposit.
It is also possible to send yourself or send to a third party the creation by registered mail. Mail should not be opened in this case.
Protect your idea by remaining discreet
Discretion remains the best protection for your invention ideas. If you have an idea for an innovative project, you must remain the most discreet until the launch of your activity. When you need to discuss the project with third parties for its assembly, it is necessary to legally lock the protection of your project. The intervention of a lawyer specialized in intellectual property is advised.