How to protect your idea?

You have an idea and it is now slowly turning into a product or a service – you should start thinking about protection.

It is vital that you understand your intellectual property (IP) rights because they protect expression of ideas, especially the way an idea is made into a concrete product or service. The main IP rights are patents, trademarks and copyright.

Many people regard patents as pioneering engineering acts reserved for the few. This could not be further from the truth because patents are generally granted for any inventive step that is capable of industrial application.

The mobile phone industry is littered with attempts by manufacturers to patent what they believe to be inventive steps. For example, the famous “pinch to zoom” feature on mobile phones. Generally speaking, patents are protected territorially, ie country, or specific region, whereby the inventor is granted an exclusive right to exploit the patent for a period provided the patent is publicly disclosed.

The UAE has a system in place enabling patent protection and the process moves in stages, depending on what patent you wish to apply for. The valuable Takamul programme supports innovations, especially patents, and also provides financial support for local inventors.