What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property refers to several items that fall under the umbrella of intangible assets. Intangible assets are those assets that aren’t physical but are worth something to your company. They often bring in revenue and represent significant value to investors, shareholders or stakeholders. In today’s market over 75% of a company’s assets are now intangible in comparison to just twenty years ago when it was the inverse.
Intellectual property includes registered and unregistered trademarks, patents, trade secrets (such as processes, codes and formulas), industrial designs (design patents) and copyrighted works . These types of assets can be monumentally important for any business or organization’s long-term success.
A comprehensive intellectual property strategy will help to Identify, solidify and protect your business’s intellectual property. These play into positive effects of cornering a market, building and maintaining brand recognition, customer loyalty, sales, profit and more.
Almost every business has some form of intellectual property that is truly invaluable — even if it doesn’t seem so on the surface. Often, intellectual property is a business’s biggest asset. It’s important not to underestimate the value of your company’s ideas, processes, and branding. Seeking out an IP law professional from the start will help you set the best IP strategy to keep you ahead of the competition.
Intellectual property protection must be handled with care
According to Cecile Klein, Business Development Officer for the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), one of the most important things businesses can do is to take stock of the business’s intellectual property from the beginning and no later.
Klein, who spends her time educating businesses on the values of intellectual property, believes that intellectual property should be carefully examined — similarly to the way businesses scrutinize financial portfolios. Collecting and filing appropriate IP applications (such as patent applications, trademark applications or industrial design applications) early can help a business build and manage its IP portfolio in an optimal way.
This helps a company…
- Protect their business’s identity, information and ideas
- Represent value to investors and clientele
- Prevent competitors from infringement or imitation
- License or sell to others
- Solidify partnerships
- Better position itself in the marketplace
Small businesses benefit from intellectual property protection too
There is a myth around intellectual property rights as being applicable only to corporations and large businesses. This is not true at all. Intellectual property is highly significant for small businesses and even entrepreneurs who want to solidify their name in a local community.
Small businesses are equally or more exposed to having their ideas used without their permission. For example, if someone were to violate your small business’s intellectual property but it’s been protected, you will be in a much better position to take legal action with the help of our IP law professionals by your side.
Intellectual property law gives your business rights over its creative work and removes the possibility of others trying to benefit unfairly from it. If you’re looking to protect your assets and could use some friendly and professional advice, please get in touch with us today.
BHOLE IP LAW is a boutique IP firm located in downtown Toronto, Canada and practices in all areas of IP, including developing business-minded patent strategies for startups, small and medium-sized businesses. BHOLE IP LAW provides competitive fees and, importantly, takes pride in its responsive and advisory approach.
**The information provided herein is a general background of intellectual property law concepts, does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Bhole IP Law, and the author, make no express or implied representations or warranties in respect of the information, including but not limited to the accuracy of the information. Note that while Bhole IP Law is a firm of Canadian lawyers authorized to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, we are not U.S. lawyers nor lawyers in any other jurisdiction. As such, other foreign counsel may need to be consulted for U.S. or foreign legal matters.**