How to protect your business idea

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2015 06:01 PM | Updated as of Mar 08 2015 02:01 AM

MANILA – Once you have come up with a unique business idea, how can you protect it?

Bong Macasaet, chairman and chief executive of Field Partners Inc., said the first thing aspiring entrepreneurs should do is to avoid revealing too much information and only disclose to people relevant to the business.

“Don’t talk about it to a lot of people who are not relevant to your business idea, meaning they cannot help you,” he told ANC’s “Shoptalk.”

Macasaet advised entrepreneurs to seek legal remedies in protecting their ideas, such as having employees or consultants write a non-disclosure agreement.

Entrepreneurs can ask employees to agree to a non-compete clause if and when they decide to leave the business as this will prevent them from revealing valuable company information to competitors.

Macasaet also stressed applying for intellectual property rights to protect the idea.

“When applying for an intellectual property right, it takes about three years before you get the rights, but once you get the rights the life span would be 20 years,” he said.

When applying for intellectual property rights, patent or trademarks, Macasaet said it is better to seek the services of an expert.

Patent is the right to exclude others from manufacturing, producing, distributing or promoting your business idea or service.

Macasaet also suggests doing background checks on potential investors, and hiring agencies to investigate backgrounds to prevent cases of copyright infringement.

Entrepreneurs should also do their own research to find pertinent information of potential partners.

All meetings and transactions should also be documented as these will serve as proof that the idea is yours.

“I have personally experienced siblings and relatives fighting over the business idea. Once you have done all these legal remedies and background checking, at the end of the day, you trust your instinct and filtered experience,” he said.