Crowdfunding has only existed for about five years, but it has already proven itself to be a viable alternative to conventional fundraising methods. Unfortunately, crowdfunding’s enormous online exposure also greatly increases the risk that one’s intellectual property rights may be infringed. Inventors should therefore make sure that they understand the following prior to launching a crowdfunding campaign.
The America Invents Act has changed the U.S. patent system
It is important to avoid copyright infringement
While tempting, inventors should not use any copyrighted multimedia, music or images in their crowdfunding campaign. Whenever Kickstarter receives notices from copyright holders about a given project, they pause the project’s funding and remove it from public view. Project creators may later file counter-notices disputing the claim, but if the dispute is not resolved, the project’s funding may be stopped indefinitely.