Many entrepreneurs, and even established companies, are surprised to hear that they have (or could secure) intellectual property.
What is intellectual property (IP), you might ask?
Well, IP is a term used to describe ‘creations of the mind’ such as inventions, logos, images, literary works, art and music. There are different types of intellectual property:
Every company has intellectual property but the $64000 question is; can you protect it legally to generate a business advantage?
What vehicles exist to legally protect IP?
Technology that is novel and inventive can be protected by patents and is called an invention.
A new brand or business name can be protected by filing to obtain a registered trade mark.
If you have created a new aesthetically pleasing product, then you could look to protect its appearance by filing to obtain a registered design.
Copyright exists on many types of original works including art, literature, computer software code and music.
To guarantee that you have the correct protection, you need to speak to a specialist IP attorney. Most will offer a free initial consultation and so it is well worth taking advantage of this to properly establish what is the right IP protection for you.
So how do I go about this?
You need to ask yourself two questions:
The first question to ask yourself is, “what IP do I have in my company?”
The second question is, “can I protect it legally to add value or create profit for my company?”
You may need help from an expert, such as a professionally qualified IP Attorney, to answer both of those questions.
Once you have the answers, you may be surprised and delighted to find that yes; you have IP that you can protect legally. IP protected legally is known as an ‘IP Right’. This can help stop others copying your new ideas so you can gain a stronger market share and make your start-up company more attractive to investors. Well worth looking into!
Use our handy checklist to help you identify the possible types of IP in your business. Download here