Why It Is Necessary to Protect Your Intellectual Property

Friday, May 17, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

There is no denying that intellectual property is one of the most fundamental aspects of any business. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most neglected.

Too many companies around the world aren’t doing what is necessary to protect and value their intellectual property.

Understanding Intellectual Property

Generally, there are considered to be three main types of intellectual property: trademarks, copyrights, and patents. All of these focus on protecting different parts and systems of the business.

A trademark will be placed on things such as logos and company names. Meanwhile, a copyright is used to protect original works like art and music. Finally, a patent is awarded to an individual when there is a necessity to guard a new idea or creation.

Not every company will need all three types of intellectual property, but there is a good chance you need at least one. Keep reading to learn why it is financially necessary to protect your intellectual property.

  1. It is at the core of your business

    At the end of the day, for just about every business, intellectual property is at the heart of the company. It is the essential component that makes your business unique, ensures it has something different to offer customers, and made it a profitable company in the beginning.

    This is not to be taken lightly. If someone were to steal your idea, your name, or your process, they could easily and swiftly put you out of business. Yet, this wouldn’t be the case if you choose to meet with a law firm to discuss what you should be protecting and in what manner.

    As your company or product gets more recognition, you will be more likely to find yourself dealing with counterfeiters or others who endeavor to profit from your innovation through fraud. From the get-go, you want to be actively and visibly guarding your intellectual property against violation to convey a strong message that you will not allow someone to take advantage of you and your business.

  2. It helps you maintain your customers’ trust

    When you are growing a business and a brand, you want to get to the point where customers recognize your name, your logo, or your motto. In other words, what should be trademarked are those things that function as source identifiers to consumers.

    Over time, your goal is that when an individual sees those identifiers, they then immediately understand that that particular product is high-quality because you produced it and then they buy it. Trust is the foundation upon which your business can grow.

    It takes a long time to build this positive brand awareness between a business and a consumer base, which is why you don’t want anything to happen to it. Yet, this can happen all too easily (and be fatal to your business) if someone who produces lower-quality items uses your trademarks. In fact, in many cases, intellectual property theft and infringement violations are considered federal crimes.

    On the other hand, if you think a wrong claim is being made, you can speak with a lawyer to undergo the process for opposing a trademark application. Either way, the law takes intellectual property classifications very seriously.

  3. It can be utilized as an additional revenue stream

    Should you ever want to, you can sell your intellectual property to another company or individual. While it isn’t the most straightforward process, it can be a profitable outcome to the ownership you have over your copyright, trademark or patent.

    Every situation is different, but some common reasons people choose to sell their intellectual property include needing to regain the money they initially invested, avoiding the costs of maintaining the intellectual property (mainly if it is a patent), and making a significant profit from selling the customer loyalty and trust that accompanies the intellectual property (see #2).

    While there is an array of factors that determine the value of your intellectual property, the main ones include market-based estimates, cost-based estimates, and past and future economic estimates. However, as both sides of the deal should know, there is no absolutely sure method for measuring the worth of your intellectual property in the future.

So, there are three reasons why it is financially necessary to protect your intellectual property from the beginning. Is your company serious about protecting your intellectual property? Or do you think more needs to be done? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!


Sharon Danso-Missah is the Head of Marketing at Al Tamimi & Company, the largest law firm in the Middle East, with 17 offices across nine countries. Established in 1989, they are a full service commercial firm combining knowledge, experience and expertise to ensure all clients have access to the best legal solutions that are commercially sound and cost effective.

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