Starting a new business can be an extremely daunting endeavor. Raising capital, recruitment of employees, development of a good marketing plan and development of a sales strategy are all important aspects of creating a successful business.
Another important aspect of starting a business is to ensure that you have an IP strategy. Unfortunately, many start-ups neglect this aspect of their business. Legal consultation for the organization of a business and ensuring compliance with various governmental entities can be valuable to business owners. Creating an IP strategy can also benefit a business for a number of reasons:
1. Benefit to your business
If you don’t have a strategy in place to protect your IP, it can be a loss to your business. Without protection, other businesses in the market may have competing rights. This can lead to a loss of intellectual property rights for your business. The inability to protect your IP by developing an efficient strategy can also result in inadvertent infringement of other’s rights, leading to legal action against your company. For this reason it is advisable for companies to perform intellectual property searches. These searches provide valuable insight into what others are using as intellectual property and provides for the opportunity to assess risk with regards to use of specific types of intellectual property by your business.
2. Protection against infringement by others
Whether intentional or otherwise, businesses may end up in a situation where their intellectual property is being used by a competing business. This may include the use of confusing names and logos or the making, using or selling of patented inventions. It is often said that imitation is the best form of flattery, however imitation of trademarks, copyrights and patents can have a negative impact on the owner of the IP. The good will and reputation they has been created through the use of unique trademarks and inventions can be damaged by what others are doing in the marketplace. A loss of customers, sales and business can result from improper protection of your intellectual property. Owning registered trademarks and patents can give you the ability to stop infringers and legally pursue them for the loss they have caused.
3. Income from royalties
Licensing your intellectual property can become a source of income for your business. Without intellectual property assets, a business may miss out on the opportunity to earn royalty income from licensing.
Intellectual property can be an important asset for any business. Intellectual properties are creations of the mind and inventions that can be from any field – literary, artistic works, designs and symbols, names and images. These creations may be used in commerce to benefit a business. Every business owns some type of intellectual property and protection of their intellectual property can assist in the growth of that business. For additional information on intellectual property and how to protect it, please contact us at Prowse Chowne LLP.