IP Protection for the Success of Your Business
The protection of your intellectual property can be easily overlooked due to its intangible nature. It is essential to protect the value in your intellectual capital, recognised by some of the world’s biggest companies as their most important asset. So, let’s explore the ways in which businesses in Sydney can protect their hard-earned goodwill and the value in their intangible intellectual property assets from any kind of misuse.
1. Brand Recognition
It takes a long time and hard work to build trust and goodwill in your customer base. Goodwill is your most important asset because it represents the established reputation of a business and is the reason why your old customers keep coming back and the reason you attract new customers.
When a business is successfully able to build trust and goodwill within its target market, the protection of its brand trademark becomes extremely significant. A trademark represents the “brand” and distinguishes goods or services in a competitive market. Every business needs to have at least one trade mark to build its intangible asset base and to stand out from competitors.
A well-known brand can give your business the opportunity to attract “repeat business” and new clients and brand awareness can better place a business to drive revenues.
2. Competitive Advantage
Innovation consists of developing a new idea and bringing it to market. Intellectual property which includes trade marks, patents, copyright, designs and trade secrets can be leveraged to significantly enhance business performance by protecting unique and new value. The generation of new products and services requires significant investment and time. By managing intellectual property better than your competitors you secure legal rights over a period to protect your investment and can exclude others from benefiting from your new ideas. For example, the source of Starbucks’ competitive advantage may be in the trade secret for a new expresso recipe or Amazon in a break-through patent for drone technology such as its patent for pocket-sized, voice controlled drones.
3. Innovative Works
Copyright protects various forms of works such as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. It is a very valuable asset of authors and creators in the software, tech and creative industries. For example, works in film making, graphic design, computer programs and photography enjoy protection through copyright and others will need to obtain the necessary permissions to use or exploit those works. The exclusive rights include within them the right to authorise others to do an act in relation to those works. This means that copyright can be infringed where another person who is not the owner of the copyright exercises an exclusive right of the owner of the copyright without authorisation.
4. Online Presence
An awareness of the value of intellectual property rights and smart navigation in today’s e-commerce channels can dynamically connect your products and services to the market place. It’s about advertising and marketing strategies to find your customer at the exact point of the buyer’s decision making process. A business must not only understand what the client wants but also whether the business wants to be fulfil that demand and deciding whether it can do it better than its competitors.
Companies that embrace new technology, search engine optimisation, and the new ways that customers shop online will connect their brand to these innovations and maximize their online brand presence. An online presence will have at its core a domain name, trade mark, website and social network profiles.
There is far too much competition in today’s online markets to lag behind and not claim strong intellectual property rights and web presence.
5. Social Media
Your social media presence on social network profiles such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter discourages the use of your brand and brand trademark by other people. It is also important for your business to set in place social media policies to protect against employees sharing confidential information or trade secrets so that employees understand the importance of making representations on social media platforms and the dangers of indiscriminate use. A well drafted social media policy will address the importance of respecting intellectual property rights and codes of practice for advertising and marketing. Companies should identify the risks of social media and monitor their online reputation as a brand’s goodwill and image is defined by the way it engages in public.
The objective of a brand strategy should be that a business distinguishes itself from its competitors in the mind of the client and protecting the value in the brand and its image. Waiting too long to file a trade mark can end up costing you far more later as competitors file for the same or a similar name before you or start using your established brand name online to get a free ride on your hard-earned success.
6. Why register a Trade Mark?
- It proves your own the trade mark
- You can legally stop others from using it
- It’s a good defence if someone else accuses you of infringing their trade mark
- It deters your competitors from using or registering something similar
- It tells everyone you take your intellectual property seriously and your brand is worth something
- You’re protected indefinitely
- You usually get Australia-wide rights
- It is a valuable asset that you can sell, assign or license
- You can ask Australian Customs to seize goods that have infringing marks on them
- You can use the ® symbol next to your trade mark
Contact w3ip lawyers on 1300 776 614 for more information about any of our services or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer. The material in this post represents general information only and should not be taken to be legal advice.