Steps for IP Protection
Just like your business’ physical assets, intangible intellectual property (IP) assets need to be carefully utilised and protected. However, many businesses only recognise the value of their intellectual property when it is being contested or infringed. Without proper protection, options for minimising damage or asserting rights can be slow and costly.
The following three steps should be regularly considered for protecting and leveraging IP assets.
1) Identify IP Assets
As a starting point, all businesses have one or more trademarks, including brand names and logos, which may be eligible for protection by filing trademark applications.
Your business may have also developed a certain “get-up” for your online presence to enhance your brand, which may be eligible for protection as industrial designs or protectable under “passing-off”.
Some businesses may also have developed new products, systems or processes for achieving certain results, which may be eligible for protection by filing a patent application, or safeguarded as trade secrets and confidential information.
As your business evolves, new IP assets will also emerge, owners should conduct regular audits to identify and protect new IP assets.
2) Obtain Registration
With your IP Identified, a Patent and Trademark Attorney would be able to advise on how best to protect and enforce these assets through registration in Australia and overseas.
Your Attorney can advise on all aspects of IP protection, including:
- Trademark registration to protect branding, which can last indefinitely with proper maintenance.
- Patents for products and methods considered inventive, which can last about 20 years.
- Design registration for the visual appearance of products or get-up, which can last about 10 years.
- Domain name registration, which can last indefinitely with proper maintenance and ward off cyber-squatters.
3) Develop an IP Policy
A company-wide IP policy should also be developed to ensure IP assets are used correctly and uniformly. If registration is obtained, it is also important to maintain and renew the registrations.
Pre-filing clearance searches can also be undertaken to identify potential obstacles to registration or access to markets.
Cost-cutting at initial stages, and “do-it-yourself” approaches, can lead to more expensive predicaments or prohibition to market down the track.
Call us for a free initial consultation.
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Sydney – Parramatta – Penrith
Greater Western Sydney
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