Do you have a robust intellectual property strategy? And why does it matter? Intellectual property is one of the key assets of an organisation. It is becoming of ever-increasing importance in this digital world where ideas and information can be accessed, copied and stolen simply at the click of a button. Having a well-defined, robust intellectual property strategy will ensure that you are able to adequately protect your intellectual property assets – which in turn will promote and facilitate the growth and success of your organisation.
Does it really matter? YES!
- IP is an business asset that can create value and generate revenue through commercialisation of your IP:
- Core IP assets can be licensed to produce royalty streams,
- Non-core IP assets can be sold to produce additional revenue,
- IP assets can be used as collateral to assist in raising finance.
- IP grants you a monopoly right – so you can prevent others from doing what your monopoly covers.
- IP creates and enhances your competitive advantage – promoting and solidifying your market share; generating not only revenue but also customer loyalty.
- IP acts as a ‘bargaining chip’ in commercial negotiations (such as cross-licensing of others’ IP, joint ventures, co-existence arrangements) or in negotiating settlement of litigious disputes.
- Properly protected IP is a strong deterrent against others’ infringing your rights and against spurious infringement actions.
- Proper enforcement of your IP prevents loss and dilution of your IP assets – and therefore loss of revenue.
- A robust IP strategy:
- optimises business processes; enables development of sound business strategy,
- ensures efficient, cost-effective use and allocation of financial and human resources,
- separates the wheat from the chaff – enables identification of new, commercially-beneficial IP and discarding of obsolete IP,
- mitigates the risk of infringing others’ IP – thereby avoiding:
- wasted costs (legal costs, re-branding or re-development costs, payment of damages including in some instances treble damages),
- loss of management time,
- business disruption,
- reputational harm and loss of customer loyalty,
- criminal sanctions.
5 steps to developing a robust intellectual property strategy
Step 1: Identify the overall objectives behind your intellectual property strategy. What do you want to achieve?
Step 2: Identify and then protect your intellectual property.
Step 3: Maintain and regularly review your intellectual property strategy. Is it still appropriate? Is there adequate awareness regarding the importance of intellectual property in your organisation?
Step 4: Maximise the potential of your intellectual property through efficient exploitation and commercialisation of your IP.
Step 5: Enforce, where appropriate, your intellectual property to prevent loss and dilution of your rights and unwanted attacks by others.
How can we help?
- Conduct an IP Audit to understand what your IP assets are.
- Advise on the appropriate protection of your IP.
- Review and draft appropriate clauses in agreements with employees and third parties – to ensure ownership and protection of your IP.
- Provide training raise awareness around protection of your IP.
- Advise on appropriate enforcement strategies to prevent loss of your IP.
- Advise on appropriate clearance checks to avoid infringement of others’ IP.