Make Music Count curriculum is officially patent pending which is a huge win for us. Many times inventors and companies don’t get the opportunity to protect their intellectual property which allows room for others to take their idea. I want to share our journey towards protecting this idea.
When you have a good Idea, you must protect it. Plain and simple. However, protecting your idea isn’t as simple as you may think. When I had the idea for Make Music Count, I went directly to the patent office. However, the feedback I received was that my idea would be hard to patent because it was an abstract idea and that I was dealing with the natural laws of math and music. Meaning that I didn’t create math or music, I just connected the two in a different way. Not necessarily patentable.
So in my frustration, I asked “Well what can I do? I need to have some type of protection.” I was instructed that I could copyright my workbooks which provided some type of protection so in the beginning phases of my business I simply self-published my workbooks to offer at least some kind of protection. In fact, when you write something down, that act in itself is protected. So use that as motivation to always write your ideas down on paper not only to get started but to protect your ideas.
Even after copyrighting and trademarking my idea it still felt like surface level protection. However, I knew that obtaining a patent was the only way to protect the entire idea because anyone could come along and rewrite my workbook and claim the idea for their own. In my mind, I wanted something like the Pythagorean Theorem. That equation is known worldwide as Pythagoras creation and idea.
However, the catch is that he did not patent that idea. That theorem is simply public knowledge and its just that his name was attached to it. The question was “how do I solve the problem of my idea being to abstract?” The answer was through incorporating technology. In order to properly protect an abstract idea it needs to be used almost as if it were apart of a machine. The machine that my idea was used in was the new app that we developed in order to impact more students. The math and music equations I created were now instrumental for the functionality of the app. The only way to answer the equations was to push the keys of the piano that was in the app. Now we have a solid case for a patent as a software patent. We are now “patent pending”.
Realizing how to protect your idea may take time, in my case 6 years, but don’t let that stop you from still doing the work and moving forward. Entrepreneurs are about action so don’t get caught in delaying because you aren’t protected. That’s a cover up for your fear of getting started.
Check out the New and Improved Make Music Count app and learn about how we’re helping teachers and students tackle math anxiety remixing math and music! https://makemusiccount.com