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Why Intellectual Property is Crucial for Business?
As everyone is aware, intellectual property is not a physical asset, hence most of the time, it is overlooked. Safeguarding a company’s intellectual property is crucial, both to develop and maintain a successful business.
Intellectual property is not just restricted to technology companies, it is valuable to all businesses, which indulge in investing large amounts in research and development for the creation of indigenous products as well as services.
Innovations are significant for the long-term financial success of the business. They help the organizations be more competitive when compared to their arch rivals. Businesses should understand the significance of building intellectual property and use them effectively in order to devise business strategies and achieve long-term success in the marketplace.
Films, books, papers, television, music, art and other creations, which people hear, see and read are all covered by IP rights. We find that regular products contain innovations which are covered by IP rights – coffee machines, cars, lamps and coffee machines etc. And there are numerous everyday items which many people might be less conscious of, like vitamins, chemicals, medicines, and food. They also contain innovation covered by IP rights.
The following is an overview of different ways, where business owners can protect their intellectual property.
- Brand Recognition - When any company builds goodwill with its consumers. We find its identifying trademark acts as the source of few products or services, which can be extremely valuable. These brands definitely act as a shorthand for quality. Almost all businesses have the minimum trademark.
- Competitive Advantage - Trade secrets, confidential information, and know-how, fall into the category of intellectual property called trade secrets. Almost all businesses, having the employees faces the risk of trade secret theft. A patent can help in the protection of technological innovation. But the invention should be disclosed publicly for anyone to obtain a patent. For the company, trade secrets and patents can be of high value to any company because they offer an edge over the competition. Few significant steps to protect trade secrets and patents include – non-disclosure agreement, employment agreements, and timely patent registration.
- Creative Works - Depending on the business, we also find copyrights can be a high-value asset. For example, creative companies (involved in photography, advertising, marketing, and film) software companies. All these companies can benefit by registering copyrights for their works.
- Internet presence - In today’s busy world, e-commerce forms a significant part of advertising and sales strategies for numerous companies. Establishing and protecting the distinctive internet presence can be extremely valuable. An owner must consider practicing search engine optimization, domain name registration, time to time monitoring for infringement and claiming the business listing.
- From a legal standpoint, businesses should be careful and ensure that its account passwords are placed in a central location and in the company’s name. Businesses should ensure that they don’t allow independent contractors or employees to control the account credentials. It can lead to significant problems if any of these individuals disappear or become antagonistic.
- Social Media - Social Media, can also affect intellectual property advantage. Companies, in order to protect their intellectual property and to avoid legal problems, they should include social media policies in their employee handbook.
Every startup, whether it is lean or not, it needs to plan for its success. If your startup begins to scale quickly, a strong IP portfolio would be essential to improve one’s ability to play the long game.
We find that the world’s largest innovators which include Apple, Microsoft, and Google, all seem to agree. Recently, these companies have spent billions of amount, on intellectual property in the voice space alone. They are investing top dollars in order to ensure that their corporate IP portfolios are not only rich in innovation but are diverse and permitting them to hedge against numerous possible futures.
- Patents are not only important for you but for others too.
- Should allocate time to get smart on intellectual property. One should educate themselves as well as the team on the basics of copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. Investing a day or two early on would save headaches later.
- Decrease cost by doing your own IP search first.
- Work with attorneys who specialize in intellectual property and then ask for a fixed rate to file.
- Businesses can save money by working with a patent attorney from a different geography. The cost saving can be nearing to 50% or more.
- Business should remember patents are not only asset they hold. Time to time, they should conduct an audit to find all the registered and unregistered trademarks as well as copyrights.
- Companies should invest in written non-disclosure agreements. One should make sure that employments agreements, sales contracts, technology transfer agreement, all of these protects your intellectual property.
How Innovation is a Positive Force for Society?
The traditional economic argument for patenting states that, since innovation is a highly risky endeavor and the benefits are passed to society, they are often greater than the benefits received by the innovator if filled with rational actors, else society would otherwise underinvest in innovation.
That’s not all, if the innovators do keep their invention secret, then it would be difficult for others to benefit from the information available and make further innovations. Hence the solution provided by the patent policy is to offer the innovator some monopoly profits to be booked for a specific period in exchange for putting the information behind the patent into the public domain.
There are other methods to encourage innovation, they include tax credits, R&D, Subsidies, government procurement or prizes for innovation.
Drawbacks of Intellectual Property Rights
The original idea of introducing of intellectual property rights was to protect the scientists and inventors. The aim is to protect the creative process and thus the whole society must benefit as a whole. However, with the passage of time, by increasing the protection degree, the whole concept resulted in the opposite effect.
In few areas, we find that the reformed advocates have a belief that protection of intellectual property such as patent rights and industrial property, has led to an effect of slowing down progress and innovation.
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