Here’s what you can do:
- Complete a thorough search for similar patents, trademarks, and copyright (if applicable). Prior to being worried of others stealing something from you, ensure you aren’t infringing on someone else’s invention.
- Register for a trademark. Because your brand could blow up (in a good way) after appearing on a crowdfunding site, it’s important to protect it ahead of time.
- Think about applying for a provisional patent. Importantly, you have one year to do so after publicly announcing your product in the U.S. After the one-year window has closed, patent protection is unavailable and you lose the right to file a patent and be the exclusive producer of your invention. It’s worth pointing out that you’ll have to “produce” your idea in order for it to be patentable.
- Make sure you understand the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act as there are a bunch of legal requirements to abide by. If applicable, failure to ensure compliance beforehand could potentially cost you down the road.
- Compare the terms and conditions of the various crowdfunding sites to find out which offers the most protection for participants who find themselves in this situation.
- Think about not disclosing super important stuff. This may be difficult as investors like to be informed of everything, but it’s certainly an option.
Have more questions? Feel free to visit LawTrades.