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Why is Intellectual Property Important for Businesses?

Sep 30, 2019

Intellectual property can be defined as ‘intangible property that is the result of creativity, such as patents, copyrights, etc.’

It is important to remember that businesses of all sizes will hold intellectual property. Particularly in an ever-increasing digital economy where a business may rely on its intangible assets to operate and succeed.

What types of intellectual property are there?

Intellectual property can come in many forms, including:

• Brands and logos
• Designs
• Inventions
• Software
• Photography, paintings,
• Music
• Books
• Website designs

Why is intellectual property important to all types of business?

Many businesses may not think that they hold IP. But in the very simplest way, as soon as you name your business, create a website or create a brand then you have generated intellectual property.

Many sources suggest that intellectual property can make up to as much as 70-80% of the value of a business. So, it is not hard to see why it is important.

To get an idea of why intellectual property is important to your business think about some of the following

– How would you cope if someone set up a business with the same name as your business?
– Someone starts marketing a product which is identical to your design
– A website starts up which has a near identical URL to your business offering the same product/service, taking web traffic

Once a business recognises that they hold IP they can then look to assess the value that the IP has for their business. This can then help you determine whether to apply for IP protection such as patents, trademarks and copyrights amongst others. These all give the owner certain rights when it comes to their creations, inventions and designs.

Intellectual property is also important for businesses in another way. It is important that you ensure that you do not, either intentionally or unintentionally, infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property. This could result in serious and costly legal action if you are found to be committing an infringement.

Watch this useful video from the Intellectual Property Office to get an idea of why IP is important to your business.

Is it important to protect my Intellectual Property?

Being able to adequately protect your intellectual property can have many benefits including:

– Enabling you to adequately put a value on your intellectual property
– Giving investors’ confidence in your business plan and viability
– Affording you certain rights when it comes to defending a potential infringement
– Protecting your future income streams

Some types of intellectual property protection such as patents can be costly and time consuming to apply for, so it is worth carrying out an analysis of whether intellectual property protection is right for your creation and business.

One of our customers, Poura, know just how important intellectual property is. Poura, is a unique device for pouring and stoppering spirits. Invented by Dominic Limbrey, the product has been well received by the drinks industry. But how does Dominic ensure that his design remains his and isn’t copied? After all, the design of the product is the basis of Dominic’s business. If it were simply copied by competitors, Dominic could face a significant risk to the success of his business. That is why Dominic has patented the Poura device in the UK and international patents have been filed to protect the IP across all their core markets. Read more about the Poura journey and importance of intellectual property in our recent case study.

How important is intellectual property insurance?

Intellectual property insurance can prove invaluable when it comes to protecting your intellectual property rights. Particularly so for smaller businesses who may otherwise not have the resources to defend an intellectual property infringement claim. Particularly if it is a large entity who is infringing on your intellectual property.

One of the key areas in which intellectual property insurance can assist you is with covering the legal costs to both bring about and defend an intellectual property infringement claim, as well as any court awards made as a result of the claim. Yet it can also offer other benefits such as insuring historic IP registration costs, insuring future revenue streams and assistance with breach of agreements

Read our guide to Intellectual property insurance here: IP Leaflets Feb 2017

At Anthony Jones we are passionate about ensuring that our customers have the right insurance cover in place to protect their business success. This extends to intellectual property insurance where we think we can and have made a real difference to many small businesses. So if you have any questions about intellectual property insurance or your small businesses needs don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we are always happy to help. Call us on 020 8290 9080 or alternatively email us at ip@anthonyjones.com

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