The world of business is a competitive one. For every great idea you have, there’s a strong chance someone else has had it too – or that it already exists somewhere in the world. Obviously, with the amount of people who are involved in the business sphere, there is going to be some level of crossover from time to time. But as originality is one thing that sets you apart in a busy market, making sure you keep your integrity is vital for business success. Of course, it’s not that many of us set out to blatantly plagiarize another person’s work. But it can still be worth being mindful of certain copyright issues, even only for the sake of an easy life. Here are a few hints and tips on how you can keep your business authentic, and how you can protect your content too.

Make some changes

So, the worst has happened. You were all ready to launch your business when suddenly, at the last minute you came across another company who is providing the same service as you. Of course, in some sectors, this is inevitable. Maybe your company is recruitment based, and you specialize in IT. There will be many other companies supplying this exact service, and that simply cannot be helped. But if your branding, tone of voice, marketing and service is pretty much identical to someone else’s, you could have a potential issue on your hands. This is especially relevant if this rival is based in the same geographical location as you. To avoid any disputes, see these similarities as an opportunity for you to up your game. It might mean pushing back your launch date a little further, but if you can blow your competition out of the water when it finally arrives, it will have been worth it. Think about the service you provide and what you can do to take it to the next level for your customers. Also, consider your branding, and whether you need to loosen it up a little, or toe the line and present something sleek and corporate to the public eye. The same thing goes if your business is product or invention based. If you find out that someone has made the same item that you have done, see it as a challenge to try and make a better version!

Protect your content

As we now live in the digital age, most business professionals are well aware of the risks posed to them by internet hackers. If you do not have certain regulations in place, such as firewalls and security questions, you could easily be putting your business at risk from online criminals. However, it isn’t always just hacking you need to be worried about. Plagiarism is alive and well on the internet, and it is straightforward for someone to re-publish content from your website or social media and claim that it is their own. This is where something such as DMCA protection services come in – a law that penalized the infringement of copyrighted work on the internet. Make sure you familiarize yourself with this law as if your intellectual property is stolen, you will need to rely on it to get the stolen work taken down.

Take out a patent

Have you had a bit of a Eureka moment, and come up with an invention that you think will change the world? If so, you had better get a patent on it. A patent is legal protection for you and your invention, which can penalize anyone else who makes it, sells it or imports it without your permission. Remember that the longer you operate your business without a patent, the easier it will be for just about anyone to spot your idea and start to copy it themselves. If this happens and you are without a patent, you may not have a leg to stand on. Worse still, the other party may take one out of their own, which turns you out of a legal position altogether. To qualify for a patent, your invention must meet the following criteria. It must be something that can be made or used, it must be new, and it must be a product in its own right (not just a slight modification to something that already exists). If your product meets this specification, you will be in a position to apply for a patent. The process of getting a patent is pretty complex, and if not done the right way, could lead to the loss of legal rights. A licensed patent lawyer who has the skill and experience can easily tackle such issues. Don’t expect to get one immediately though – the average application process can take up to 5 years to complete.

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