Protecting Your Intellectual Property, Products and Brand

Protecting Value

If you’re asking yourself, “How valuable can protecting IP really be?” consider this: Protecting your IP basically provides you with a type of market monopoly to make, sell, use, import, export and license your property.

Three Types of Innovations You Must Protect (and Why):

Your intellectual property may be protected in a number of ways, depending on its nature.

Overlap in IP Types

A special embossing on a surface would be covered by a design registration; the shape of a product, if unique and distinctive, could be protected by a trademark. Keep in mind that patent and design registrations can only be obtained for products that are not in the public domain, so a confidentiality agreement may be needed first.

How to Mine Your IP

IBM, an international leader in patent creation, has a powerful strategy that can be adopted by any size organization. IBM routinely reviews its unused patents and licenses them to other companies — including their competitors. In IBM’s case, this strategy added about $1 billion to their bottom line. Your organization does not have to be large like IBM’s to profit from this strategy.

Start with an IP Strategy

A key to success is to develop an IP strategy based on your long-term objectives. Consider your competitive advantages, business strategies, existing IP, third-party relationships, internal resources and exit strategies.

Protect Your IP From Cyber Risks

Stealing the credit card numbers of customers was only the beginning of cybercrime. Regardless of the size of your organization, you should anticipate cyber criminals will try to steal your proprietary information, the information that is not protected in the ways I described above, but is key to your future success. Make sure that you have secure backups of everything that is critical to you, and that you have taken proactive measures to prevent attacks.

Anticipatory Organization Book



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