Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Have you ever considered the importance of protecting your intellectual property?
Here at Time Timer, developing innovative solutions with Intellectual Property has been a foundation of our business and business growth. We are proud to have gained our first patent in 1995 and now have over 25 registered trademarks and patents, both domestically and internationally. Last week, the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted a seminar for entrepreneurs. Dave Rogers, our Co-President at Time Timer and the son of inventor and founder, Jan Rogers, had the pleasure of speaking about the importance of protecting intellectual property and patents.
Time Timer was invented by Dave’s mother, Jan Rogers, over 25 years ago. As said by Dave, “My goal was to help other entrepreneurs understand the importance of patents and give them hope if their patent has been rejected. My mom is an example of how anyone can be an inventor, and with the right patents and trademarks, your ideas can be protected while building your business.”
Dave gave us his key insights on protecting intellectual property and patents:
1. Receiving a patent is a process and takes time.
When Jan Rogers first applied for her patent, it was not initially approved. It took several revisions and improvements before it was accepted. You must stay motivated and not get discouraged when applying for a patent.
2. Receiving a patent builds confidence and establishes credibility among your business partners and customers.
Applying for a patent requires you to flush out your idea in great detail. Therefore, patents are a sign for other partners and customers that you have invested heavily in your idea. It shows that you have a strong brand that can become a market leader. At Time Timer, we see our Intellectual Property as a representation of the time, energy, and deep thought we have put into our products.
3. Patents can serve as building blocks for new product development and provide a competitive advantage.
Once Jan Rogers flushed out her big idea, and received her first patent, she set up a foundation for the company to continue its growth and expand around the world. Not only did it allow innovation at Time Timer to continue in the form of new products, but it also allowed that growth to happen strategically and organically. The protection it offered gave Time Timer an advantage over any potential competition and bought time as the team further developed a go-to-market strategy and new products. By patenting your product, you build off that current idea, and it gives you a leg up on your competitors.
4. Intellectual Property is not cheap and does not guarantee anything.
Just filing for Intellectual Property does not guarantee your business will be successful, but it gives you a large advantage. The Intellectual Property of Time Timer is not the only thing that built the success of our company. We invested the money, time, and resources needed to protect our ideas, but we could not have come as far as we have over the past 25 years on that alone. If you have a good idea, it’s up to you to not only protect it, but to nurture it, build it, and find the right partners and team to get you to the success your idea deserves.
5. Patents are what market leaders do and can become a part of your brand’s core identity.
Having a patent on your product shows the time and energy you put into your business. It shows that you have a product that you believe in and so should your customers. At Time Timer, we put a lot of value into the innovation, technology, and ideas that come from our team. Jan Rogers started with one idea that solved a universal problem 25 years ago, and her foresight to protect that idea has now become a fundamental part of the Time Timer culture and identity.
If you are an entrepreneur that is starting a business, give yourself a competitive edge. Protect your intellectual property and believe in your idea. It may take time, it may not be easy, but it will be worth it!
To see how far Time Timer has come since its original version, view the full line of Time Timer products here.