Patent and trade mark rights are worthless unless they are exploited. It doesn’t matter what product your business makes, or what service it provides, every enterprise is regularly generating and applying a considerable amount of intellectual property. However the majority are not taking steps to protect, manage and enforce their IP rights. Some are even using intellectual property that belongs to others, without permission to do so.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent over 90% of businesses throughout the globe. They are the driving force behind innovation, and contribute to the growth of the economy through job creation, investments and exports. However SMEs typically underutilise the IP system. They do not adequately protect their business against copycats, until in most cases it is too late to do so.
Businesses tend not to consider the importance of IP from the outset of launching their business. It forms just another subject or hurdle, getting in the way of them getting their new product or service out there. They invest their resources into marketing their new venture, and overlook protecting that venture before they do so. Yet the backbone of marketing is a brand, and that brand should be protected!
Whilst intellectual property rights are not worth much unless they are properly exploited, businesses tend to seek to exploit before they even have those rights secured. Every business needs an IP strategy from the outset. It is not a subject that should be brushed under the carpet.
Protect… then exploit… your intellectual property.