Intellectual property protection is a crucial aspect of a legal and business strategy to ensure that IP are profitable. These IP assets should provide a competitive advantage to the business within the market strategy for your business and may require specialist knowledge and understanding of IP rights whilst protecting the business from IP theft and infringement. However, in this article, we’ll provide you with the key elements to consider for any IP protection strategy.
The number one consideration for a winning strategy is ensuring your IP rights are protected. When defending your IP rights, a successful outcome will depend mainly on how well your IP rights are protected. For example, if your patent application is not correctly processed or your business does not hold the patent in certain markets, it may potentially not be entitled to all the applicable rights. This can result in adverse financial effects to a business, especially in cases where a competitor uses your intellectual property. The most important point to remember is that IP rights can only be enforced in countries where rights have been registered and granted.
In addition to protecting your IP rights, a process for maintaining those rights is additionally crucial to protect the financial interests of your business in the long term. Intellectual property protection is only effective when it is valid. Even if your business was the original patent owner, any rights associated with that ownership will expire if your patent or trademark renewals are not filed within the appropriate deadlines.
If your business has patent or trademark that has the potential for significant financial gain, it is advantageous to prepare for IP enforcement. In the event that a competitor or new market entrant attempts to make, sell, use or import your IP without your permission, it will most likely require legal action in order to enforce your IP rights and protect your brand reputation and revenue.
When preparing for potential litigation, it is crucial to know the value of your IP assets. Understanding the value of IP assets provides multiple benefits to a business. In addition to benefitting the financial outcome of litigation, it can also be used to support the credit rating for loan applications, sale and lease back agreements, and the business valuation for issuing new shares or stock market listings.
Given the expense of maintaining an in-house litigation team, for some businesses, it can be more cost-effective to use external litigation attorneys. However, even in these cases, preempting potential litigation is necessary for effective intellectual property protection. As such, your business and legal team should consult with a litigation service provider to develop an effective enforcement plan. Depending on your business activities, you may also need to plan for online and offline enforcement.
In order for IP assets to remain valuable to a business, they need to be managed cost effectively. The best method for optimizing the costs of intellectual property protection is with IP benchmarking. Whether your business chooses to carry out this process in-house or with an external consultant, the goal is to ensure that your business is not overpaying on external counsel fees or official costs. However, there are many benefits of using an IP management specialist, such as access to extensive counsel networks and competitive intelligence that can be essential to develop your winning IP protection strategy.
For many legal departments, the best method for protecting intellectual property is maintaining an effective IP portfolio. By assessing each IP asset individually and as part of the overall IP portfolio, this can result in the removal of IP assets that are no longer contributing to business goals. This allows for more time, money and resources to better manage other IP assets. It can also reduce the potential for other unnecessary costs, such as enforcing IP rights on assets that are not core to the business strategy. In this way, the best method for protecting your IP is maintaining an IP portfolio that aligns with your business strategies.