Your IP portfolio is one of the most important elements of your business. It underpins your external messaging, and how you interact with your customers. It allows you to sell your products and be confident that those products will be correctly identified and protected from copycats and bad actors.
And yet, despite the fact that without your IP your business would be extremely vulnerable, many businesses do not have a clear idea of what exactly they own, what the status of their IP assets is, and when you need to take action to renew your assets. Unfortunately, in many business, IP is still treated as a cost rather than as asset, and this can sometimes mean that it gets ignored.
However, making your IP portfolio work as well for you as possible will not only enhance your ability to do business and reduce the risk of a catastrophe, but will also save your money too.
Brandstock employs a two-pronged approach to help ensure your IP portfolio is as effective as possible. This involves a combination of a verification procedure and an audit, which when combined allow businesses to build up the clearest-possible picture of their assets and make informed decisions on how to proceed with renewals, as well as being able to correctly plan for future trademark registrations.
Before you can decide on how to effectively manage your trademark assets, you need to know exactly what assets you own and what their status is. Very often, information in the record about your trademark assets may be completely wrong, and this could have grave implications for the asset if you don’t remedy them quickly. Brandstock’s verification process allows you to check several elements.
- Company name – are all your trademarks correctly registered to the company? Where there have been acquisitions or mergers in the past, it’s possible that ownership information is out of date. Brandstock verifies ownership information, and also checks that, for example, there are no errors in the spelling or name of the company.
- Classes – do you have your trademarks registered in the correct classes? Brandstock will verify what classes you have registered, and expose any gaps as well as showing you where you have trademarks registered in classes that you don’t need.
- Countries – are your trademarks registered in the correct countries? It sometimes happens that you have registrations in countries where you don’t need them, perhaps because the business strategy has changed. This means you’re wasting money maintaining assets that you don’t use.
- Renewal dates – do you know when your trademarks are up for renewal? Brandstock will verify renewal dates for the entire portfolio in each country.
Trademark portfolio audit
Once you’ve verified the assets in your portfolio, there will be work to do to address any shortcomings in it, such as changing ownership information or refiling for new classes.
At this point, you can audit the entire portfolio, confident in the knowledge that you are basing decisions on accurate information. This can save you money, since you can choose to let registrations lapse if they are unnecessary, as well as helping you to identify your key risk markets where you have to make sure you are on top of your renewals.
Brandstock will work with you to conduct the audit, identify those trademarks which you really need, and help you understand where you are wasting time and money on assets that aren’t important to the business.
Socrates once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. We might say for trademarks that the unexamined IP portfolio is not worth having. Brandstock can help you examine your portfolio, and bring innovative working practices to bear on it, all the while saving you time and money to ensure that your portfolio is doing what it needs to do for the business.