We are honored that data security expert Philip Alexander of Data Privacy Network reviewed Traklight’s products and wrote the following blog. So, you’ve got a great idea for an invention, and it could be the next "yo-yo" or "Frisbee". An idea that you’re hoping one day, will be a household item, something that would bring you both pride and wealth. With so much technology, ideas are stolen every day and the original inventor may not be given credit, or better yet compensation.

There are many questions that need to be answered: 

Has a patent already been filed for my idea?
Do I need a trademark or a copyright?
Do I need to make sure that I have non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) signed before I discuss
my idea with anyone?

There are companies that say they will help you bring your idea to market. The problem is that many have significant upfront costs for the aspiring inventor, with no promise of financial return. Now, to be fair, they are in no position to promise you that your idea will ultimately be brought to market.
In the era of the Internet, it is possible to perform your own patent search. In an effort to reduce costs, many suggest doing a patent search online with Google. The fastest way to take your great idea, and expose it to the entire world, allowing anybody to steal it, is to do your own patent search online.

So the question is how to bring your invention to the attention of those who can help you, while at the same time protecting your idea, your intellectual property. As I stated above, there are many companies that will help you bring your idea to market. Many are very expensive, and their idea of safeguarding your idea is to sign a NDA. While an NDA is nice, it doesn’t address how they protect your idea on their network. They can be in compliance with their NDA, but if your idea isn’t protected at a technical level, you’re at risk.

The best way to protect your idea is to make sure it’s secure, at a technical level, and time-stamped. Traklight® has what they call an IP Vault® allowing inventors to securely store their idea. What I like about their IP Vault is that not only is the idea protected with strong encryption, it’s also time-stamped. Traklight also has what they call an IP Cloud. Their IP Cloud® provides information for the aspiring inventor on resources available to help bring your idea to market. Ideas that include: securing funding, firms that have IP lawyers, PR & Marketing, and more. Finally if you do not know what IP you have or think you don’t have any, Traklight’s turbo tax like tool, ID your IP® walks you through a series of user-friendly questions and gives you a report of potential IP and next steps.

Traklight will soon be adding a subscription service that will allow users to build upon an idea already identified by ID your IP with related products and services. The company recently added a Collaborative IP Vault, which allows unlimited users to store and share documents such as ideas, contracts, etc. Think of it as Dropbox, but with security. I often say that security sells, as does respecting the privacy of your customers. I believe both can provide a competitive business advantage, and is what I find most attractive about Traklight’s service offerings. Learn more about Data Privacy Network and look for Philip’s new book later this year.