Why is this Important? To protect your idea from potential competitors. While patents are much less common for software products, aspects of your Solution can be protected via other vehicles such as Copyrights, Trademarks, or Trade Secrets.
|Key Actions||Things to Consider||Tool Kit|
|Determine if your idea can be patented, trademarked, or copyrighted||Is your product or service a novel technology or a collection of trade secrets?
Perform a preliminary “freedom to operate” analysis to confirm that your Solution does not infringe on existing patents/trademarks/copyrights/etc.
|Consultation from Legal Service Providers|
|If applicable, document your idea and file appropriate paperwork||It is possible to do it yourself, but you may need and want to have legal support if pursuing a patent.
Copyrights exist from the time a work is made permanent, but should be registered with US Copyright Office to ensure a record and secure additional enforcement rights.
|US Copyright Office|