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Ltryptophan's avatar

Is starting a campaign on kickstarter a bad idea that could lead to unnecessary competitors?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10724points) March 11th, 2017

I was thinking about trying to kickstart a product I have in mind, but I fear it could cause a competitor to take interest. Is it better to have a patent in hand before beginning such an endeavor, or a trademark so I can have name recognition as the original?

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10 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Get a lawyer in patent law.
Short answer ==> patent before release (kickstarter).

elbanditoroso's avatar

Totally agree with @Tropical_Willie . Except that the patent process is a lengthy one – it can go on for years. Hope you have patience.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Ideally, you should get whatever patents, trademarks, and copyrights you are eligible for prior to going public. The whole point of intellectual property law is to incentivize sharing your ideas, though, so there are workarounds to deal with the sometimes lengthy process of protecting your work. Once you have submitted your patent application, it is usually safe to start advertising so long as you mark everything as “patent pending.”

Under US law, this designation does not give you any legal protections until the patent is actually approved. But once it is, anyone who has infringed on your patent—including those who did so while the patent was still pending—will be liable for damages. This is what wards people off. The risk here is that you don’t get any protection if the patent is denied. And since patent law is complicated, you might want help from a lawyer.

In the end, there’s nothing you can do about competitors. If your idea is good, someone will try to imitate you as much as they can without infringing on your intellectual property rights. And if it’s a really good idea, you’ll be copied by manufacturers in countries that are not party to international agreements regarding intellectual property (though you can stop them from selling in countries that are party to such agreements). That’s just the cost of success.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@SavoirFaire I think I will immediately be copied even if I had iron clad protection so I am going to try to establish an original brand rather than patent.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Ltryptophan You’ll still want the patent, though, unless it’s something you can’t protect. Otherwise, you may have difficulty protecting even your brand. But you obviously know a lot more about the product than we do. As such, we can only give general advice. I think it is usually best to secure your intellectual property rights in advance when possible. But maybe your situation is different enough that the general advice doesn’t apply. Only you can know that right now.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Ltryptophan If you have a brand called “Ford” but I make a “Chevy”.

There is no protection for you from me selling a Automobile with a different Brand/Trademark name. You have to patent the “Automobile”.

johnpowell's avatar

You might want to look into a Provisional Application. It is around hundred bucks and sort of locks in the patent and will give you a full year to file a proper patent. So if the kickstarter succeeds then you will have the cash to drop for the full thing. It can be around 10K so bake that cost in.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@johnpowell thanks for your help and everyone else too

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villiam's avatar

Kickstarter, and other comparable crowdfunding stages, is a staggeringly imaginative apparatus to subsidize your business. I discover this is especially valid for ladies, for whom beginning period subsidizing is famously more hard to discover. However, similar to every incredible instrument, you should know how to utilize them admirably. Here’s a tad bit of what I realized I would say:

1. KNOW YOUR GOAL

Ensure you’re clear concerning why you’re doing this–is it to test another product offering? To get the word out? To pre-subsidize creation? This will help keep you responsible all through the entire procedure and limit diversions (there will be many, believe me!).

2. Reveal to A COMPELLING STORY

Putting resources into an extraordinary video is an outright should! Individuals will choose inside the initial 10 seconds whether they will watch whatever is left of your video, not to mention consider adding to your battle and additionally imparting it to their companions. Invest a considerable measure of energy consummating your pitch–keep it short (three to four minutes), educational, interesting, and locks in. You can fill in the various points of interest on whatever is left of the venture page, however ensure you auction your gathering of people right the bat with an awesome video

3. SET A GOAL THAT MAKES SENSE FOR YOU

Try not to be enticed by setting a major, provocative raising support target. Begin by making sense of without a doubt minimal measure of cash you require. For instance, in case you’re fabricating an item, ensure you realize what your manufacturing plant arrange least is, how much the materials costs, and so forth. Try to include additional items like transporting and bundling, which can be barely noticeable. When you have your base number, I would suggest remaining at or around this number; it’s best to be moderate and destroy your objective in light of the fact that on the off chance that you don’t hit your objective you don’t get any of your assets.

4. SELECT YOUR REWARDS WISELY

Make compensates that are only accessible for your benefactors. This can be a markdown on an item or a totally one of a kind item that won’t be accessible after the battle. These individuals are going out on a limb in moving you–make beyond any doubt you treat them well.

5. TIMING CAN BE EVERYTHING

Consider if your item has any occasional affiliation since that could mean the distinction amongst progress and disappointment. This past summer The Coolest Cooler turned into the most subsidized Kickstarter ever, raising over $13 million. Be that as it may, this was his second endeavor; his initially battle missed the mark regarding its $125K objective. So what changed? One major contrast: his initially endeavor propelled in November, though his second endeavor propelled in July, when shoreline going clients will probably be in the cooler shopping mindset.

6. Decide YOUR FULFILLMENT BEFOREHAND

I invested months before the crusade making the specimen for my dress. What I thought would take me two months wound up taking right around a half year, as I unendingly changed the fit and texture, and tried a few makers. Doing this in advance enabled me to set a practical, yet moderately speedy turnaround time for my clients. The exact opposite thing you need to do is frustrate the very individuals that made everything occur by racing through the satisfaction procedure once the battle is supported.

7. KEEP UP YOUR MOMENTUM

Commonly, you get a surge of help in the principal week and a surge in the last days with a major drop in action in the center. So you need to strategize in advance about how you will survive those dead center weeks and hit your objectives by the end. This takes great arranging by ensuring you have blog entries, press, occasions, and supporters, arranged to help keep your energy going.

8. KICKSTARTER SHOULD BE THE LAST STEP, NOT THE FIRST

On the off chance that you want to simply post your venture on Kickstarter and it will simply subsidize itself, you’re in for a reality check. You should spend a while heretofore constructing your tribe of adherents that need your item and bolster what you’re doing. I began my business 18 months before propelling on Kickstarter. Not exclusively did I have a little base of clients, yet I had associations with various petite bloggers. It was on the grounds that I had these longstanding connections that I had a broad rundown of individuals to email on the very beginning of my venture. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I couldn’t have prevailing without these longstanding connections.

9. To wrap things up: MAKE SURE YOU’RE MAKING A GREAT PRODUCT!

This may appear to be super self-evident, yet for any business to work, it comes down to having an incredible item. Ensure you’re making an astonishing item that is tackling a genuine issue. Ask yourself: “Would my client’s life be better with this item?” The appropriate response ought to be a reverberating “YES!” before you hit that dispatch catch.

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