In this report we cover some of the key reasons why you and your business should actively engage and manage intellectual property.
This is important because whether you realise it or not, most of the value in your business is not something physical like a machine that you could scratch your leg on, but it is your know-how, relationships, ideas, creativity, agreements, innovation, brand, reputation etc. Identifying these and protecting them with IP is one of the most important things you could do today.
It is essential to do something about this now because if you are not on top of it and managing it like you do the rest of your business, your IP will be leaking and someone else will be benefitting from your value-creating assets.
We can help you to do this because we have worked with hundreds of businesses in all sectors and circumstances to help them identify, protect and increase their value through IP.
A Bit About Us
Our mission is to help businesses increase their value by using intellectual property to protect ideas, creativity, innovation, and competitive advantage.
Your business will be playing the game of intellectual property at some stage. You would not enter a chess tournament without knowing the rules of chess, including how each different piece can be engaged. The same is true of the intellectual property game.
Forewarned really is forearmed
We help businesses to compete and win with intellectual property, to protect their secret sauce and competitive advantage using IP in the most effective way for their goals and current situation.
For over 21 years we have been helping founders, entrepreneurs and leaders turn intellectual property into valuable business assets. We develop IP strategies with both unregistered IP rights and registered IP rights, blended to build value and competitive sharpness for your business.
Reacting is second best when it comes to IP.
- someone else has taken your trade mark
- your invention / design / copyright / brand has been stolen
- your social media persona has been hijacked
- you receive a letter demanding a license fee for IP infringement
- your reputation has been damaged
- your partner walks off with your commercial secrets
……has you starting from the ‘back foot’, much better to be prepared in advance, to have anticipated or optimally, to have prevented such events from happening in the first place.
Why IP Should Not Be in The Do Later File
Most people put IP in the ‘do later’ file and only get round to it when they have been ‘schooled’ through an issue.
In part this is because there is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion floating around when it comes to IP….you frequently hear of someone ‘patenting a trademark’ and other gobbledygook.
Education on IP is woeful, and you can still graduate from the best business schools in the world without taking one class in IP!
So why is IP important and worth taking seriously?
In the intangible economy, most of the value in your business is not something you can bump into, meaning it is not physical.
It is likely that something connected to your brand, reputation, creativity, innovation and know-how, will drive competitive advantage in your business.
An easy way of looking at this is asking yourself what your competitors would most like to steal from you?
The seven reasons why IP is important to your business.
Reason 1 – IP supports the value in your business
The ‘secret sauce’ in your business may not exactly be a recipe but it may well be something that provides you with a competitive advantage.
It could simply be know-how, born of hours of research, it could be an algorithm or data, or your stellar reputation; whatever it is it will be worth defending to protect that value in your business.
Value can also be derived by the sale, licensing or sharing of your innovation, creativity, idea, brand etc and IP provides a construct to do this safely and fairly.
Reason 2 – You already have a load of IP
I often hear ‘we have no IP’, when in reality what that usually means is we have not yet sat down and identified the key IP in our business and looked at the best ways of defending it or maximising the value from it.
If you do not identify and appreciate your IP you may well find that your competitor covets it and worse still has stolen it!
Reason 3 – Investors and stakeholders want to know your IP is protected
Intellectual property is your friend when it comes to preventing others from stealing your idea, business, creativity etc. Investors and other stakeholders need to know that their returns are protected in the best possible way.
Reason 4 – IP does not have to cost too much money
Some unregistered IP is ‘free’ to grant If you take the steps to identify and manage your brand, designs, copyright, data, know-how and trade secrets you may well be able to book these as unregistered intellectual property rights; meaning you have not paid governments to register these rights.
Copyright in the UK is free to grant but can be extremely valuable c.f. $500m Netflix paid Roald Dahl’s descendants 30 years after his passing!
Reason 5 – Eligibility for innovation incentive schemes and tax benefits
Most people have heard of innovation grants, a few have heard of R&D tax credits and next to no one knows of the patent box scheme where a profitable business in the UK can reduce corporation tax by 15% through the application of a patent!
Intellectual Property identification, management and presentation facilitate access to all of this funding.
Reason 6 – The IP game is more vicious overseas
Internationalising is a very exciting time for any business but doing so without having scanned for IP threats can be a drastic mistake.
The IP game is played very hard and fast in the US and it can be very costly for the unprepared. For example, many British businesses have been severely damaged by IP (and especially patent) infringement fights in the US courts.
Reason 7 – IP leakage or spillover
The nonphysical aspect of IP means that it leaks all too readily, meaning that if you do not take care IP is likely to be shared without your approval or knowledge. A recent EIU report showed that one of the biggest threats to business is the loss of trade secrets through misappropriation, leading to loss of business, competitive advantage and reputation. Identification and careful management of trade secrets are absolutely crucial to the success of a modern business.
The time to take IP seriously is NOW
Start by answering these questions:
- What is my competitive advantage and how is it defended?
- What would my competitors most like to steal and how can I prevent this from happening?
Want to know more?
NOW is the time to protect your Intellectual Property from those who may wish to steal it! To find out more and to book a free no-obligation review meeting, simply go to www.exaltip.com and click on one of the book a meeting buttons, or call me John Pryor on 07587885131