Know-How 104 / How to protect your inventions and designs?


Ekrem Ayhan Çakay

Know-How 104 / How to protect your inventions and designs?

There are different kinds of protections according to your needs. In its simplistic form, that's a kind of decision based on your firm size, budget, time limits and also strategies. In order to determine what type of protection you need, TLS.IP professionals are ready to evaluate your inventions or designs at each phase. All you need is to create a business or IP assets under the workspace area in Techin2B platform. To name them briefly, they are listed below.

Protection#1 NDA against stolen ideas.

Unless there is a contrary regulation in the law, you can subject everything that you think should remain confidential in a confidentiality agreement within the framework of the "freedom of contract principle". Trade secrets, your entrepreneurial idea, your trademark, patent-like intellectual property rights and know-how can all be evaluated within this scope. The other party sees how serious you are and starts to act with this awareness. On the other hand, you can give the image of a person who is very arrogant and overly caring about his opinion, you may be faced with questions such as “so you don't trust me?”.

There are also three potential risky issues that can be ignored in the confidentiality agreement because NDAs are generally standard agreements.

Exclusivity: With an exclusivity clause embedded in your confidentiality agreement, it may be regulated that you can only sell your product or method that you developed for a certain period to the other party of the agreement.

Prohibition of Reference: By expanding the scope of the confidentiality agreement, not only confidential information, but also the information that you sell your product or service to the other party of the agreement will be counted as confidential information. Considering that especially large corporate customers can be considered as good references, keeping these customers confidential may cause an undesirable situation for startups.

Enforcement: The legal skills and budget for your enforcement in case of dispute are the most decisive issue in any contract. The material compensation clause to be placed and the statement that all costs will be paid by the person who violated the confidentiality, in case the subject is the defendant, may also contribute to this process.

From the workspace area in Techin2B platform, it’s quite easy to create an NDA draft as a new business asset. You can upload your information related to your technology fields, development stage, time to market, target sectors and countries, funding requirement, primary benefits, and validations. It is also possible to link your products, methods or services with the NDA drafts and then work with TLS.IP professionals on the NDA drafts as seen in Figure 1. 

Figure 1

Protection#2 Intellectual Properties against your competitors. The golden rule: Intellectual rights do not give the right to use, but the right to block third parties.

Patent : New Inventions. High budget but strong protection.

Utility model: New Inventions. Low budget but weak protection.

Registered Design: Distinctive Designs. High budget but strong protection.

Unregistered Design: New Designs. Low budget but weak protection.

Before your application of your IP assets, attention should be paid to the following issues.

  • No publication should be made before the patent or design application (Article, Press release, Conference, Presentation/Poster, Blog).
  • The product should not be sold before the patent or design application.
  • No lectures or presentations should be made before an agreement is made not to make a statement before the patent or design application.

In Techin2B platform, all you need to do is creating an IP asset no matter your know-how is a design, patent or utility model. The user interface and forms direct you for uploading the necessary information such as priority and disclosure type as stated in Figure 2.

Figure 2 

Advantages and Disadvantages of IP

Advantages: Enabling investments and high return on investments, strong and enforceable legal right, commercializing the IP (transfer-license)

Disadvantages: Disclosure of the IP to competitors, high cost, turning into a legal right after IP registration.

Exclusions from Patentability and Designing

Patents: Discoveries, scientific methods, mathematical methods, programs for computers, schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business.

Design: Sole technical or non-visible features of the products.

Especially for patenting, the following table can be examined to decide whether the invention is worth to be an IP asset or not.

Invention Type

Difficulty Level of Reverse Engineering

Protection type












Patent-Trade ecret





For evaluating your products or methods, just filling the forms in Techin2B platform and make connections with TLS.IP professionals may speed up and optimize your progress.

Protection#3 Defensive publishing against patenting or registered design.

Defensive publication is a method of establishing prior art by releasing details of an invention or designs into the public domain to prevent others from obtaining a patent or registered design on it. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the published invention can be used. According to studies, up to two-thirds of patenting companies actively use this method as part of their IP strategy.

Technical disclosures are a much more efficient way of generating prior art than filing a patent application. They're also a lot less expensive than filing for patent protection. Not only are the application fees for inclusion in a database or publication significantly lower than those for a patent, but there are also no maintenance fees and no need to litigate to enforce a patent. On the other hand, it limits your ability to protect your own IP.

One can easily can form an idea about the technical fields and the patents published by using Techin2B platform. In Figure 3, Innovation Radar module can be seen at a glance. It is quite easy to research about your defensive publishing issues filtered by your needs such as origin countries, sectors etc. Also, TLS.IP professionals are available for assessing your defensive publishing strategy.

Figure 3




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