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How Your Business Can Survive In A Copycat World

12-20-2017, Forbes -- If you invent a great idea for a new product, others will copy you. It’s just a matter of when. That’s guaranteed. Whether your company is small or one of the largest in the world does not matter. Copycats are the norm now.

Run a successful Kickstarter campaign? Factories in China may beat you to market before you’ve shipped a single unit. Selling on Prepare to do battle with Chinese counterfeiters who steal your original photos, descriptions and even reviews.

Congratulations on your success! Copycats do not imitate products that aren’t selling.

So… how can you compete?

Will having a patent or several patents help you? Not really. Due to changes in our patent laws, it has become enormously expensive to defend one’s intellectual property in the United States.

First, take a deep breath. There are other strategies to pursue. Not only can you survive, you can succeed. But you’re going to have to be unemotional and think differently.

Early on in my career, I was under the impression that it was possible to own a creative work through patents, copyrights and trademarks. And in fact, the only right referred to explicitly in the U.S. Constitution is to our inventiveness. But it’s more than that. There’s a moral component. There’s right and wrong. We want everyone to play fairly.

They don’t.

Starting a business is not easy, that’s for sure. But I always felt that with the protection of patents, I could keep the competition at bay. That patents leveled the playing field, in other words.

That’s not reality, I’ve since learned.

I know now it’s only perceived ownership that counts. After three long years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, the infringement suit I filed in federal court came down to just two words. That’s it. When I look back, I see that I let my emotions get the best of me. With a clearer head, I could have handled the situation differently. But I felt like I had no choice. I had to fight if I wanted to license my packaging innovation to other companies in the future.

The world has changed. We read about creative people who are fighting for their rights in the news all the time, including high-end fashion designerssavvy marketers and garage inventors.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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