Intellectual Property (IP) is the bundle of rights that comprise a number of constituent legal concepts.
Not one element is always sufficient protection for an idea or invention.
IP can be seen as a ray of white light. It appears whole and consistent and is clear and bright, However, when passed through a prism, the bundle of wave lengths in the white light is broken down into its constituent elements showing a rainbow.
Business Assets include Intellectual Property
When you start your business you acquire assets. You take out insurance cover to protect your computers, cars and equipment. You should also be protecting your IP. It is as much an asset as your tools. The proper protection of your IP can be the difference between the success and failure of your business. Some Intellectual Property is automatically protected on creation, other forms need to be properly registered.
Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual Property rights can provide a competitive advantage to your business. They can also deter infringement. You can add to the bottom line of your business with proper IP rights. IP rights can be sold or licensed just like your other business assets. IP rights can provide different protections for your products and services in different countries.
Include Intellectual Property in Your Business Plan.
As an asset your intellectual property should be part of your business plan. The uniqueness of your business is due to your brand, inventions and designs which are assets. Your IP plan should focus on your competitive strengths. The way in which you protect, manage and use your IP could have significant consequences on your business. Not all of your intellectual property may be worth the cost of registration. You will need to determine how valuable a piece of IP is to your business to determine how to protect it.
Intellectual Property Strategy
- Conduct an audit of your IP to determine who owns it – the company, you, your contractors;
- Consider insuring your IP;
- Create an infringement strategy;
- Record your IP in an internal register including any licenses and permissions that have been issued.
- Have staff and contractors sign confidentiality agreements if necessary.
- Clearly identify at induction who owns the IP created by your staff- generally you.
Licensing your Intellectual Property is a growth strategy for your business
You are responsible for ensuring that your IP is not being infringed. You should safeguard your intellectual property against infringement. You should have a strategy in place to deal with infringement before it happens. Sometimes, identifying if there has been an infringement against your IP can be a complex task. Set realistic goals about how you will achieve your infringement strategy.
Where to from here?
Depending on your business, you may want to conduct a full review of the potential for IP infringement and security. Etienne Lawyers specialise in IP law. We have a team ready to start with a free phone call to give you a brief understanding of what you may need. We are able to educate your organisation, inform individual staff for you, or create a full risk management strategy for infringement issues.
Call us today on 02 8845 2400 and speak with our professional legal experts who can save your business and money in the long run.