About the author of the series “The Business Growth Principles”
Dr. Sandjar Muminov is an international IP Expert with 23 years of experience in various intellectual property spheres. Dr. Sandjar is the President of SANDJAR GROUP, Head of IP & Investment Team, Founder of INTEROCO Copyright Group. He managed over 16,000 clients in 30 countries and has capitalized USD 7.9 billion in clients’ intangible assets.
Dr. Sandjar was invited as an International IP Expert for 1,500 legal and litigation cases worldwide, and his clients won 98.5% from total number of cases.
Dr. Sandjar Muminov is the only CIS and Middle East IP Expert to be quoted by Forbes.
Startup founders have been very lucky with the access to information in this era. It’s easy to find on the web a tremendous amount of up-to-date advice on how to attract investment to a project, draw up a business plan, and many other practical tips that help with startup management. Yet, there is a lack of information on how to protect your business or creation in the legal field properly and on time.
For this reason, we’ve decided to fill the information vacuum with a series of articles named “Startups: Business Growth Principles” that provide practical information & useful insights gained from our experience working with startups.
In this article & upcoming series, you will learn:
- How to build a diverse IP-Portfolio & what happens if you concentrate only on one part of it.
- How to recognize the potential of your IP assets & how to manage and capitalize them.
- What steps need to be taken before meeting with an investor?
- What are the do’s & don’ts in negotiating with the investors?
- How to showcase the prototype of a product in front of the audience?
- What measures must be taken to protect a developing business against illegal use of intellectual property?
- What are the key features of a successful, fast-growing startup?
- Why do startups fail & what are the common mistakes?
We will answer these questions in our upcoming series. We believe this will help you to legally protect your startup and avoid many mistakes along your business journey.
Two Sides of a Coin Principle
The series of articles starts with the first principle – “Two Sides of a Coin Principle”, refers to the importance of IP-protection in your business.
Imagine you are the startup founder, passionately working on your promising project and trying to reach out to a potential investor for support. Like any business owner, you seek capital raising possibilities or looking for a reliable business partner. All these actions are public as they show the world that you are the creator representing your development: this is what I come up with, and my innovation helps people solve their problems. Your leadership status, the team, the brand image of your future venture, works that you already have – are one side of the coin.
But the coin has a flip side. The flip side is the legal protection of your project or product. It does not only show everyone that you are the original creator but demonstrates the legal protection of your startup when necessary. Otherwise, there is a high chance that your brilliant innovation is taken away at a very early stage or fails during a coffee break with potential investors.
Many startup founders often say: “I have invented a one-of-a-kind technology, so why should I bother to protect it? Nonsense. No one can copy it; it is an outstanding innovation. Even if someone can duplicate it, I will do even better.” Such people don’t want to spend time or money on legal protection. It is a common mistake and a misbelief.
However, without proper legal protection in place, having a great concept or even a finished product on the market is still risky. The problem is that if someone sees your original product, they can reproduce it, do all the paperwork and legally prohibit you from using your own development. In a digital era, copying ideas and technologies can be a feasible option for your competitors – this is the dark side of the story. So, if you don’t want to get yourself into costly legal battles, take intellectual property protection measures seriously.
These are the two sides of the coin. Our advice is to keep a balance between the two. First, build a strong brand and image of your great yet-to-be-released product, spread the word about it – from one side of the coin. Second, keep your work and developments secured from the competition, increase the legal protection of your startup when it grows – that’s another side of the coin.
In the next series, you will learn:
- Three steps each startup should take to stay strong on the market.
- How many IP objects does a typical IT startup have?
- What are the not-so-obvious positive signs that any investor would like to see?
- How to get protected from theft, plagiarism, dishonest actions of the competitors?
- Other vital measures to secure your business.
Stay tuned and don’t hesitate to ask questions the author of the blog via email firstname.lastname@example.org.