From Day 1: You’re creating Intellectual Property (IP)
Babies, Business + Breakfast, has been selected as one of the ‘Bayview Meetups’ for 2020 at Bayview Yards (the home of Invest Ottawa).
I hosted the first event of 2020 on February 14th, where we focused on ‘Protecting Your Ideas’ with Natalie Raffoul, Managing Attorney at Brion Raffoul and Julia Elvidge, Tech Business Leader, Advisor, Mentor, Investor and Board Member.
It was an interactive workshop-style event, where people (and their kiddos) got up, moved around and actually…spoke to each other (gasp!) before and after the guest speaking portion.
It was structured to maximize content in a short period of time, presented around a continental breakfast spread and children’s play area to ensure everyone was well fed, entertained and content.
Our community members–who also happen to be parents–joined us alongside their children to discuss:
• Intellectual Property (IP)
• Trade Secrets
• Industrial Design
• The evolving tech landscape
• Looking at the competition
• Mixing parenthood, professional development and business
Some key takeaways included:
• When you’re writing a marketing or business plan, from Day 1, you’re developing your ideas and your work has copyright protection – you’re creating IP from the outset.
• Copyright protection lasts for your lifetime, plus 50 years beyond that.
• Trade Secrets are confidential and protected and can include client lists, processes, things you know how to do yourself.
• Patentable things include products and processes, with 20 years of protection.
• Industrial Design can cover website design, including wireframes and 3D Trademark registration can be covered under branding and design.
• When working with new contacts, partners, suppliers, individuals, investors, consultants–ensure you have a signed Non-Disclosure Agreement at the very least via email to confirm confidentiality which can be used as evidence of protection.
• If you sign over copyright, confirm whether you are waiving your moral rights as part of the agreement as down the track this can be disputed.
• Don’t over-grant rights worldwide or even across the country, as Canada is a large territory and with two official languages (English and French), you want to guarantee the one who holds the rights will actually utilize them in those regions.
• You don’t need to actually have a product developed before you apply for a patent, start thinking about your IP strategy early on.
• You don’t need a technology or STEM background to found a tech business. You need to solve a problem for people and you can use technology to do that.
• From a parenthood and professional development/business perspective, decide what your expectations are and what you are willing to let slide, then reprioritize accordingly.
Want to discuss your IP or business plans?
If you didn’t get a chance to attend but would like to learn more about IP and/or discuss your business, please mention you’re a member of the Babies, Business + Breakfast community and connect with the February 2020 guest speakers via LinkedIn here:
• Natalie Raffoul
• Julia Elvidge
Feedback from attendees
“Phenomenal talk, two great patent experts! Very relatable and informative. Awesome toy selection.”
“Great event as always. The topics weren’t as relevant to me but they’ve piqued my interest in considering the tech industry for a business idea.”
“Loved the experience. Answered questions I didn’t realize I had.”
“Very well thought out with stroller parking and play area visible to parents. Very important.”
I’d like to thank the following contributors to February’s event:
• Bayview Yards for having us;
• LUNCH for providing the pastries and coffee;
• Feminist Twins for sponsoring 5 tickets for community members in 2020 (there are a few of these available for the March event);
• my Mom for helping me with setup, registration and tear down;
• the guest speakers, Natalie Raffoul and Julia Elvidge, who generously gave two hours of their time and expertise to network, present and answer Q&A;
• the parents who registered and those who showed up with or without kids on one of the coldest days in February to mix, mingle, play, learn, seek and share feedback; and
• last but not least, my family who never question what I’m doing, why our LEGO blocks disappear on event days and help with logistics (and play)!