Your business’s intellectual property (IP) is essential to your company. You invest a lot of money and resources in your employees and the assets of the business and their resulting creations. The biggest asset you have as a business is the mindset of your talent base, which holds significant business value for many years down the line.
Once your IP is open to the public, it’s easy for other people to copy it. This is why businesses should take intellectual property protection seriously. While you’re not obligated to consider the safety of your business’s IP, it could save you thousands of dollars and a significant amount of time in the future.
Unfortunately, most start-ups and mid-sized businesses often take IP protection for granted. Overlooking this aspect of your business will lead to significant regrets later.
Are you still unconvinced about the importance of intellectual property protection? Read below to understand more about intellectual property protection and why it is important:
What Is Intellectual Property?
IP refers to intangible assets such as ideas that are legally protected and owned by an individual or a company. The property is protected from external use and implementation without permission. An intangible asset is referred to as a non-physical asset that is owned by a person or a business.
The main concept behind intellectual property is that certain products of the human intellect should be legally protected and owned in the same way as physical properties. Most countries with developed economies have strict rules to protect these forms of property.
There are several types of intellectual property, including:
- Trade secrets
Intellectual property is owned by the creator of the work, or by an individual deemed the owner. However, this can differ in certain circumstances where different types of intellectual property ownership are determined differently.
For example, if an idea comes from an employer, they become the owners of that IP. However, if it comes from an employee under contract, it can be registered under the employer. Keep in mind that IP ownership is transferable from one individual to another.
It Protects Your Exclusive Rights
IP protection gives your business exclusive rights within the jurisdiction where it’s registered. This means you will have the right to your design, brand name, and invention. The good news is that other people can’t directly benefit from your IP or reap any financial benefits from counterfeits of your brand.
IP protection also helps you protect your business from reputational damage, often caused by malicious people producing substandard products in your name. This gives your business the competitive edge it needs to compete with even major brands on the market.
It Prevents Other People from Using Your Goodwill and Branding
Crafting, protecting, and maintaining a great online and offline brand is a costly endeavor for most companies. Therefore, it’s essential to take the right steps to protect your brand and ensure it’s not at risk. Make sure you get started immediately when establishing your brand.
Most businesses often make the mistake of waiting until they have a larger budget to put in place IP protection. This is a mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars. This is because most of these businesses often forget about the process until someone else steals their IP.
The first step towards protecting your intellectual property is registering it. Ensure you register your trademark, invention, or design to protect your company’s unique identifiers. Through this, you will be taking active steps towards protecting your business’s distinct personality and discouraging other individuals from using it.
As such, if anyone tries to use your business’s registered IP, they will likely be infringing on your rights. This means you can sue them and claim intellectual property infringement.
Therefore, you can defend your company’s rights to use the IP and take the other party to court. You can even receive damages from the infringing party or a percentage of the profits they made in the infringement process.
It Adds Value to Your Property
Are you looking to stay ahead of the curve in the assembly and manufacturing industry? Then obtaining your IP rights is the first step to doing so. Securing your IP rights will proactively increase your company’s market share.
It can also help you win your customers’ loyalty by keeping them loyal to your brand. Your company logo, name, and the products or services you offer your clients are fundamental parts of your branding. This is what sets you apart from your competitors, making your business stand out.
Therefore, it’s essential to make sure your business uses these intangible assets to get ahead of the game by protecting them. Different intellectual properties and creations can be protected in varying ways. With the right advisors and team, it will be easy to efficiently protect your IP at each step of your business’s development stage.
Intellectual Property Protection Helps You Raise Money
Intellectual property protection can create a profit-generating asset for your company. This means you can raise money by selling your IP or licensing it.
When you own the intellectual property rights to a brand or a creation, you have the freedom to use it however you want. You can even transfer the rights to other companies or individuals. This can be an extra revenue stream for your business through earning royalties by licensing your IP or selling the rights to another individual.
Knowing how to fully take advantage of your IP is essential to protecting your IP. Some financial institutions highly regard IP rights, and they can be a form of security for numerous loans in some cases.
It Protects Business Growth
As a small business, it’s essential to protect your company’s unique services or products that you own. In some cases, competitors use other businesses’ success to take away a chunk of the market share. It results in reduced revenue and slow business growth.
Losing your market share early in the company’s development stage can be quite overwhelming and devastating. It’s also stressful and time-consuming to start chasing the guilty party if you don’t have any legal protection. This could result in losses and even business closure if not appropriately handled.
Keep in mind that no one else is responsible for checking if your IP has been infringed. You should always check to ensure that no one else in the market uses your assets to make a profit or discredit your brand. Even major companies have had to deal with IP infringement at some point in their development journey.
Protecting intellectual property is directly related to your business growth. It’s the only way to ensure that your business is protected throughout the development stages.
It Protects and Secures Your Business Ideas
When you have a unique and great idea for a service or product, there are always individuals who will try to duplicate and sell the idea as their own, making a profit in the process. Depending on your circumstances, you could use trademarks, copyrights, or patents to protect your ideas. All these are instrumental in covering different areas of intellectual property.
Without proper consent, IP protection can help you prevent your competitors or any other individual from making a profit from your ideas. This protection should apply to companies of all sizes.
We have all seen billion-dollar companies having their ideas infringed upon, which leads to costly lawsuits. A great example of this is the Samsung-Apple dispute about their smartphones.
IP Protection Is an Easy Process
While the intellectual property protection process may seem daunting, stressful, and time-consuming, it’s easier than most people think. Likewise, the time, effort, and resources you use to protect your IP are well worth it.
While it’s not feasible to protect the idea by itself, you can secure the processes and means by which you put your unique idea into operation. This is what you will protect using IP.
On the other hand, copyright doesn’t require any actual registration procedures. That’s because the protection is automatic and free. While copyright doesn’t protect your idea, it will cover how the concept is presented, for example, on flyers, websites, presentations, and brochures.
If you’re looking to protect your intellectual property by registering a design, applying for a patent, or trademark, you can do this through your local intellectual property office. You can do this on your own or with a solicitor.
Contact Us for Intellectual Property Protection Today
Do you have a company in China? If your company doesn’t file its patents, trademarks, or copyrights in China, the IP will have no formal protection. Contact us today at Shield Works for all your intellectual property protection needs in China.
We work with a top Zhuhai-based IP industry expert to offer our clients IP protection services to cover all their needs.