Intellectual property often gets short shrift from business owners. This is understandable since oftentimes, it is hard to sort out what constitutes your business’s intellectual property… and then how do you begin to protect it? The key to remember is that intellectual property is by far one of the most (if not the most) important assets a business can have.
Intellectual property is a large umbrella term covering many types of assets. The most well-known and most common are patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Within those categories, however, are many different specific items that a business will use almost daily but may not even think to consider as intellectual property. For example, copyrighted materials can include photographs, business plans, website content, architectural drawings, software code and articles, to name just a few. Trade secrets cover even more things such as client data and lists, recipes, business plans, formulas, and just about anything that is closely held as a secret that brings value to the company.
When you consider the sheer breadth of items that qualify as intellectual property, there is likely a great deal of information that your business uses on a daily basis that falls within the definition of intellectual property. Considering how essential this intellectual property is to the company’s bottom line, protection of that intellectual property becomes paramount. Just to be sure, here are four more good reasons:
1) Intellectual property is at the heart of your business. This is true for just about any business, but particularly so for bioscience and other technology companies that may spend years and untold millions of dollars on research to develop the next breakthrough drug, device or computer program. For these companies, the intellectual property that they create-and subsequently patent-is their main source of revenue. That revenue stream must be protected at all costs from competitors and IP thieves that could undercut your profits and demographic.
2) Your business’s goodwill depends on it. Trademarks function by serving as source identifiers to consumers, so you want to ensure that your brand and the trademark that appears on your products is backed by the quality and control that made it popular with consumers in the first place. This positive rapport with one’s consumer bases is known as goodwill, which can take a long time to build indeed. Loss of goodwill can be fatal to a trademark-and a business.
3) A strong offense can make for good deterrence. The more popular the brand or product, the more likely there will be counterfeiters or others who seek to capitalize on your success through dishonesty. Not only is this detrimental to your bottom line, but in some cases, it can put the lives of consumers at risk, especially with counterfeit drugs. By strongly and openly protecting your intellectual property from infringement, you are sending a clear message that your product is not an easy target.
4) It will give you a leg up on the competition. Patenting your product or method grants your business a limited-but exclusive-right to capitalize on your invention. This puts you at a significant advantage over your competition. Similarly, protecting your trade secrets such as formulas, non-patentable methods, sales techniques or customer lists can give you the edge that you need to outperform the competition.
Let’s Protect Your IP Today.
Intellectual property is one of the unsung heroes of business and should be protected and valued. At the our firm, we can evaluate and help you protect your valuable intellectual property to ensure that it is safe from competitors and counterfeiters for years to come. Contact us today at 1(844) 256-5891 or click here.