Whilst insurance and succession planning play major roles in securing the future of your business, protecting your intellectual property can often be just as important, yet is something that is regularly overlooked.
What is Intellectual Property
So, what exactly is intellectual property and why does it need protecting? The term intellectual property refers to patents, trademarks and designs. And this covers everything from logos, pictures, words and phrases, to ideas, creations, products and innovations.
For a majority of businesses a great percentage of their appeal and success is related to their distinctive business name, logo, product or service offering. As the success of a business grows and strengthens, so to does the brand and the various elements that customers and business associates align with the recognition and experience of that brand.
It takes years to develop a business and the recognition of its brand. The only way to ensure that the reward of those years of hard work remain with your business for years to come is to protect them. Without a trademark, patent or design your intangible business assets such as name, logo and unique product or service could be easily picked up by a thrifty (and cunning) businessperson and they are then able to effectively ‘cash-in’ on the hard work that you have put in to establishing the reputation of your business.
Not only is it important to initially protect the parts of your business image that you would like to protect but this is not something that you can just ‘set and forget’. Trademarks can expire and if you fail to renew them then your property becomes fair game.
You work hard to build your business so with a little extra effort you can ensure that future recognition of the brand and its success stays in the right hands. Just like insurance, it is too important to think ‘it won’t happen to me’ because no amount of money can buy back your intellectual property.