By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
Today, we live in an age of innovation. Technology and the internet have made it easier than ever to create inventions, products and services, but they must first be legally protected to yield success.
Patent Insider, which recently moved its offices to downtown Baltimore, specializes in this protection by helping inventors and business owners secure their intellectual property with patents.
“We are in the age of ideas now,” said Tariq Najee-ullah, owner, principal and lead patent agent at Patent Insider. “It doesn’t matter how much money people make, what type of businesses they have [or] how large or small the business is, idea ownership is imperative.”
According to Najee-ullah, often, when creativity sparks and the desire to solve a problem arises, a company may get ahead of itself by trying to roll out the product or service without first taking the steps to protect the integrity of what they are building.
“When that happens, you literally lose the opportunity to own your idea and you lose the leverage and you can be put out of business with your own idea,” said Najee-ullah.
In the past, African-American business owners and creators were prevented from idea ownership, yet many of the early advances in industry and technology were a result of their designs. Consequently, they were not given the credit they deserved.
Fortunately, Patent Insider helps to prevent the appropriation and theft of intellectual property, and although it serves clients from all backgrounds, the company is passionate about assisting the African-American community.
“We especially love focusing on educating the Black business owner [and] the Black business creator and, at the same time, we help empower them with information so they can make the proper decisions and protect themselves,” said Najee-ullah.
As a Morehouse graduate, Najee-ullah has also committed his company to supporting historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Currently, Patent Insider is searching for an HBCU marketing student to intern with them during the summer, and Najee-ullah said he intends to continue offering these opportunities in the future.
Both his parents and grandparents also graduated from HBCUs so uplifting and protecting these institutions is something that has become fundamental to him.
“You have to be intentional about things you care about. If you don’t make it intentional then you don’t do it,” said Najee-ullah. “We are intentional about that in our outreach because it is something that is integral to who we are and it’s important to us and we feel that it’s just as important for us to extend that helping hand.”
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