The Spanish Association of Fintech and Insurtech (AEFI) and the law firm Pinsent Masons have developed a practical guide to help startups protect their projects, in their different stages of implementation.
This guide tries to define the guidelines that must take into account and addresses issues aimed at identifying the main assets, material or immaterial, that a startup must protect.
According to its authors, the publication is motivated by the need of small and innovative companies, which develop disruptive models, to protect themselves against strong and large market players.
“The bad praxis, the plagiarism of an idea or the misappropriation of a project are actions that have suffered many startups and that have propitiated the mistrust in the creation of synergies in the industry, absolutely necessary for the creation of business, employment and attraction. of investment and talent”.
Rodrigo García de la Cruz, president of the Association of Fintech and Insurtech, emphasizes that this document “will not only help protect innovation, but also ideas, which is what gives more value to startups.”
On the other hand, Paloma Bru, of the TMT department of Pinsent Masons, comments that “fintech are the engines of business development and society and for that reason it is of the utmost importance to protect them”.
For this reason, “there are certain generic measures that must be considered as an initial guide when dealing with a new project”.
First, the guide specifies the different types of projects or assets and what legal protection can be applied to the components of the projects.
“Among the types of projects include artistic, literary or scientific works, and intellectual property rights (also called ‘copyright’) from their own creation, software or software, which have property rights Intellectual property from the moment of its creation, although its registration in the Intellectual Property Registry is recommended, databases that involve intellectual creation and / or a substantial investment of money, time, effort or energy, trademarks and trade names as well as patents, utility models and industrial designs, industrial property rights, which must be registered for protection against third parties, web domains, and know-how and business secrets in line with the recent legislation on respect”.
TAKE THIS INTO ACCOUNT
In addition, this guide analyzes some fundamental aspects that every entrepreneur should take into account when developing an innovative idea or starting a startup:
1. It is essential to legally protect the new business project and its various components.
2. The cornerstone of any startup should be the signing of confidentiality agreements or NDA (for its acronym in English), in order to ensure the basic elements of the innovative business project when participating in an incubator, event or forum or in some other way share the information with third parties. Additionally, special attention must be paid to the bases applicable to the calls, events and forums in which they participate.
3. The use of disruptive technologies, such as blockchain or artificial intelligence, can be a very effective mechanism to protect the elements of a business project and it is recommended that these technologies be implemented as a complementary method, but never a substitute for what it offers. the law and the relevant agencies.
4. If you intend to license the use of third parties, it is recommended to clearly define the conditions of this license: what, how and until when it is valid.
5. Finally, whatever the type of project and the elements that comprise it, it is recommended to consult with a specialist lawyer, as these can save costs of all kinds and avoid a multitude of problems in the future.