Prototype product protection: a step by step guide

In 2013, Intellectual Property (IP) theft was called “the greatest transfer of wealth in human history”. Like it or not, IP theft – including trade secrets and prototype theft – happens and will continue to happen, causing competitive disadvantage and even financial ruin to some businesses. Prototyping is part of new product development but is unique in that it requires engagement with external parties (e.g. suppliers, customers), often before standard protections are fully implemented. Balancing security against market feedback is imperative in prototyping, particularly for highly competitive industries. Prototype protection requires a good understanding of the industry, business and product-specific threats and risks, some of which are outlined in this article. A Prototype Protection Plan, supported by a dedicated manager, is a key element to success. This article outlines prototype security risks in the context of the research and development (R&D) process and provides the reader with insights into how best to manage them. Continue reading