Shredding Prototypes: Keeping Your Ideas Safe

Shredding PrototypesProtect Your Inspiration & Ideas

Inventors, designers and entrepreneurs from twenty years ago would be amazed at today’s ability to generate many prototypes from a simple 3D printing process. An inspired idea can go from a sketch on a piece of paper to a computer concept to a physical product in only a few hours instead of weeks or months. This new technology only requires a few hundred dollars instead of thousands, making it easy to create a number of prototypes.

In many industries the prototype is an essential part of the development process to come up with new products and improve old ones. However, with the increased ease of creating them, many companies are now awakening to the need for shredding prototypes. While it is seldom fully appreciated as an intellectual property, you simply don’t want to risk a physical version of your ideas falling into the wrong hands.

Shredding Prototypes: Part of the Protection Process

Protecting your intellectual property is a process that involves a number of steps, from filing the right patent and trademark applications to ensuring your development process is subject to the necessary security steps.

While it is easy to view early versions of a design concept for a product as worthless, shredding prototypes is an important part of the overall discipline to protect your work and its potential benefits/results. Whether protecting your concepts from competitors or even internal staff, it important to view prototype versions as potential leaks of your unique insights to a product.

A recent article in Entrepreneur points out the different steps involved in bringing a product to market. At each of those steps you may add or change different elements of your design and add new features, resulting in a new prototype. Even if you reject an earlier version, it’s important to take the right precautions to protect your progress.

We work with a number of clients at Sergeant Shredder to come up with solutions for secure destruction of non-paper proprietary data and items such as prototypes. We can explain your options for ensuring that your ideas stay confidential until you are ready to hit the market with your new product.

Are you shredding prototypes as part of your business’ standard operating procedure?