A large part of your business’ value is likely in its intangible assets (patents, copyrights and trademarks). Just as you would craft a financial plan for your business, it makes sense that you would develop an intellectual property strategy to try and protect your intangible property. To create an effective intellectual property strategy, you should do the following:
Let Your Company’s Size Guide You
Your company’s size and structure will need to guide your intellectual property strategy. For example, if you have a smaller company, you may not need a formal intellectual property strategy, but it will likely be easier to implement one now that you can follow as you grow. On the other hand, larger companies will need more formal processes because more employees will need to track intellectual property procedures.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
When developing your intellectual property strategy, it is crucial to understand what intellectual property you are trying to protect. For example, you will want to protect your trademarks, trade secrets, inventions, and original works of authorship. Registering your intellectual property can prevent others from legally being able to use it and profit from your property. Companies are usually tied to their trademarks, and goodwill is built around them. If someone starts using your trademark in a manner that doesn’t follow your standards, your business’s goodwill could be damaged.
Establish Guidelines for Creating Intellectual Property
When determining what type of intellectual property protection you need, you will want to conduct a comprehensive search to ensure your company doesn’t violate another person’s trademark, invention, or copyright. As a result, you will need a plan for who will perform research before the intellectual property is created and the procedure for protecting such intellectual property.
Growing your company and creating things without understanding if those creations violate someone else’s rights can be costly and will likely damage your company. So when creating your IP protection plan, think about avoiding infringing on other’s intellectual property and how to protect the goodwill, creations and inventions that your company develops. Keep in mind that it’s less costly to do research upfront to keep from infringing on someone else’s property than to clean up after an error was made.
Audit Your Current Intellectual Property
Knowing your current intellectual property is essential when you’re developing a strategy to protect your property. In addition, auditing your intellectual property will allow you to assess and determine if there are any gaps in protection so you can improve your current plan and avoid gaps in the future.
An intellectual property strategy should be forward-thinking so that it can be adjusted and used through each stage of your company’s life cycle. Investing in the correct tools and procedures to optimize intellectual property development through budgeting, allocation of resources, and research is essential to efficiently protect your company’s intellectual property.
Monetize Your Assets
A proper IP strategy can help you monetize your intellectual property because it protects you against having your inventions, creations and brands used by other companies and people. It can also help you identify opportunities in different markets, licensing deals, and even new products.
Contact an Experienced Intellectual Property Attorney
Contact our law firm and we will help you review your inventions and creative works to determine what should be protected and how to craft a plan that meets your future needs. Call (888) 666-0062 or click here to schedule an Initial Discovery session online.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.