Working with the experts …
I work with clients across many varied business sectors, and often uncover issues, and perhaps more importantly, opportunities. So what sort of people do you need to do the same?
It is my firm belief that you should always use the very best person available to assist you in your business when you need support and advice on a specific area.
Therefore, I have always worked very closely with a bank of trusted partners; people who I know like and trust, and who I believe are amongst the best in their field.
It is increasingly important for any business to protect their brand and with this in mind I have asked Wood IP, the experts in intellectual property, to share some vital information.
What is Intellectual Property?
It is a collection of lots of different rights. Intellectual Property (IP) covers a wide range of parts of your business that have a lot of value and can be the source of a lot of your success.
Your trading name, product names and domain names (when used or registered)
The way your products look
Content you create (pictures, articles, etc)
Technological advances when recorded and registered as patents
The above translate into Trade Marks, Designs, Copyright, Patents and Trade Secrets. The value of intangible assets (such as Intellectual Property) of a business is increasing over time, with it being estimated that 87% of the total value of businesses in 2015 being made up of intangible assets (Ocean Tomo, LLC).
Why should you take action?
There are three major issues:
You may inadvertently (or consciously!) be infringing the rights of another by coming too close to their rights, meaning that you might be vulnerable to legal claims against you
Someone else may be getting too close to you (or may plan to) – particularly if you haven’t protected your IP – and you may be powerless to stop it
You may be failing to make the most of these potential jewels – not exploiting them on a day-to-day basis, and not identifying them for when you come to sell or value your business. Like any physical asset (like property or machinery) they have a value and once identified and protected there is the same ability to use it yourself, allow others to use it for their purposes or sell it off.
What we often find is that when a business understands its IP, it becomes more successful. Once it knows where the intrinsic value in its business comes from, it can focus on making more of it, putting more into it and becoming even more successful.
What should you do?
The first step is to get IP aware – to identify what IP is used and created by you, to establish which bits might be protectable and to determine whether you are inadvertently breaching someone else’s intellectual property.
You should get an expert in to give the business an ‘audit’. This may reveal areas that require further action, such as protecting your trademarks through registration.
Some IP needs registration via formal procedures, whilst other types do not, and getting an IP strategy in place will give you more peace of mind that you are capturing the full value from your business.
What will it cost?
Like a real property, it depends on what you want, what the audit reveals and your plans for the business. A well-considered report will put a plan in place to fit your budget and pace of growth.
“Would you like to know more about intellectual property?”
For more information on intellectual property and associated issues, or if you feel that your business could do with an IP audit, do contact Aaron Wood and Anna Perry of Wood IP directly on 01327 223555.
Until next time …
4P Business Development works with a number of trusted partners who are all experts in their field. You will find a list of other trusted partners on my website and I would be happy to introduce you to any of them.