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Is Every Idea an Intellectual Property? Ideas are worthless unless you turn them into your IP by adding up intellectuality blended with creativity

By Ashrujit Basu

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If you are an entrepreneur and big fan of American TV series like Silicon Valley and Suits, then it's obvious that you are aware about Intellectual Property. There are whole episodes dealing with Intellectual Property Right (IPR).

Intellectual Property is a special right over your creations now that creation might be a novel idea, a unique design work, an industrial application or a work of literature or film. Intellectual Property Rights are exclusivities given to "First to File' or "First to Invent'.

Turn Your Ideas Into IP

Ideas are worthless unless you turn them into your IP by adding up intellectuality blended with creativity. Say for example, your idea is building an app for monitoring kidney health now that idea itself is not IP worthy. Because there are few missing links that you are not sure about.

First of all, you might not have figured out that how this app will monitor kidney health. Secondly, how this app will be integrated with samples collected, for monitoring kidney health. So, after working day and night on this initial idea you know that you are capable of building a device, which will analyze urine report and send it to the app via Bluetooth technology. Once this is done, you then have a foolproof business and technology overview. Now, you are being able to identify your idea's key components and its unique properties. This moment is your moment of glory as your idea is not just an idea but very much an IP.

Here are the five reasons why it is important to protect the IP of an Idea

  • So that you can stop others from copying your idea
  • So that when you pitch before investors, you don't look naive
  • So that you can increase the valuation of your start-up (Remember, valuation increases only after grant of IP and not just by filling application for the grant)
  • So that you can leverage OPM (Other People's Money) as an ultimate tool for fund raising
  • So that you can become next hot cake in licensing and franchise market like Zara, WoW Momo, Tygr, Sun Java and many more. Both licensing and franchising are all about giving someone right to use your Intellectual Property without allowing them to avail competitive advantage.

Following are the three ways to make the most out of your IP


At this stage, you have to find out your key IP components, which can be protected either as Patent, Copyright or Trademark and Industrial Design. IoT, Mechanical, electrical, real life solutions, bio-tech products or processes or devices, Health Care devices or new drugs are patentable while software programming, cooking recipe, business and marketing process, and mathematical solutions are non patentable in India.

Novel contents, design art, graphics, animation, film and computer software can be considered as work of Copyright, but here again novelty and originality are the main criteria. Logo and brand slogans are your trademark. Design of devices shall be considered as work of Industrial Design.


Now that you know about your IP, you can contact IP office for filling an application for the legal protection of your IP, although it's better to hire a competent IP lawyer for getting the work done but you can also Do It Yourself by logging into official website of the IP office. Recently introduced Start-up India grants benefits such as reduction of official fee and zero-hiring cost of IP lawyers and patent agents in case you are a certified Start-up which is also enrolled with DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion).


After receiving successful registration certificate now it's your turn for monetizing your newly acquired IP assets. You can sell your patent or you can license out your patent to any other party. You can let others use your trademark for affiliate marketing or opening up a franchise store under your brand name. You can let others use your design or content or publication or promotion of brand in lieu of royalties. My start-up is helping brands for monetizing IP so in case you need help you can always write to me.
Ashrujit Basu

Founder, ipmall

Ashrujit Basu is an Intellectual Property Lawyer and Entrepreneur, founder of licensing start-up 'ipmall', and a storyteller. He writes about Entrepreneurship & IP. 
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