IP PROTECTION - THROWING YOUR MONEY AROUND?
I recently received (at first glance) pretty standard e-mail through this website (which offers various topics related to Trademark registration). In this e-mail a female entrepreneur wanted to obtain a quote for protection of Trademark (let's call her Bella). After talking with Bella I had thought of my new business challenge for this and the following year. It has something to do with awareness.
As always, I asked Bella for which countries she wishes to have protection and why does she want it in the first place. I have not received a direct answer to these two questions, however, I did manage to learn that Bella would like to sell her idea/concept to a company, that would be interested in buying it. Bella also mentioned that she would like to protect her Intellectual Property (IP) in form of a Trademark, which was an advice of acquaintance of hers. At this point a question poped up in my mind, I am sure many of you had before as well:
Is protection of Intellectual Property for entrepreneur only a necessary evil?
Can Trademarks/Patents/Designs be utilised in any other form as well? I have already written about the possible usage of registered Trademarks in the past.
I can say that the IP protection without properly implemented IP strategy (that follows your overall strategy) means THROWING YOUR MONEY AROUND!
That's right, you've read it right! WHY? Just think about it, what is the use of Trademark/Patent/Design registration if you are not planing to use and enforce it, right? I guess the ones who do benefit from them are the ones who use them (with or without your consent) but If they don't pay you anything in return, what is the point one might ask? Why did you pay to get it registered in the first place?
If you decide to register your Trademark/Patent/Design only for the purpose of protecting that what is yours or to prevent someone else steeleng your idea, that is called a Defensive strategy Strategy! Official fees and attorney costs still are (and will remain) only COSTS. Nothing more. Have you ever considered (under specific terms) enforcing, licensing, selling or even pledging your Brand/Patent/Design? NO? These are the questions you need to ask before venturing into registration of your IP rights.
As long as CEOs or Executives will look at IP protection as a COST rather than INVESTMENT that can (and will) produce future cash-flow (when managed properly), our registered rights (with no IP Strategy) will be and remain WASTE OF OUR MONEY! And if we turn to other IP rights (to those that do not need registration per se - copyrights for example) we can call them UNDER-UTILISED SOURCE of company's assets. Either way, we are looking at thousands of dollars/euros of potential (additional) revenue annually.
Did you like this article? Want to learn how to effectively use your IP with your business? How do you manage your IP?