With increasing flexibility in working lifestyles and interconnectedness, there has been a surge of new brands and a league of new and young entrepreneurs that are flexing some snazzy creative muscles and paving the way for an industrial revolution. 4.0.
However, this increased competition has also given rise to various intellectual property rights infringements by opportunist copycats. Hence, with this article, we will tell you how to safeguard your brand legally and ways to protect your intellectual property.
Why must I protect my Intellectual Property rights?
For eons, intellectual property rights have proven to be an essential component of success and client loyalty for every business. Strong brands are known not only by their names or the types of inventions they create, but also by the consistency of their quality, market-worthy ideas, and unique selling points, which can be ensured by having your IPRs protected. As a result, you will gain not only profitability but also the ability to leverage your competitive advantage.
Ways to protect:
1. TRADE SECRETS, TRADEMARKS, PATENTS, OR COPYRIGHTS-THE DIFFERENCE
- Patents: Invention Protection
Patents are exclusive rights granted for inventions. You can patent a product or a process of making that product. Once your invention gets patented, it becomes an entity of your company and you can legally protect it with the help of IPR legal assistance.
- Trademarks – Protecting Concepts
Trademarks are unique signs that distinguish the goods or services of an enterprise from others. These have a vast range, from a combination of words to design drawings, symbols, three-dimensional features, fragrances, or colour shades. Trademarks are an essential intellectual property entity that qualifies for IPR valuation.
- Copyright – Original Works
Copyright protection is IPR protection for original artistic or literary works. Additionally, copyright also includes website content, instruction manuals, and software.
- Trade Secrets-Abstract Works
Trade secrets help in guarding ideas that are abstract and do not fall under any of the above-mentioned categories. Moreover, trade secrets are a great way to protect information of a proprietary nature and grant one party an economic advantage over competing interests.
2. THINK GLOBALLY-NOT LOCALLY:
Intellectual property rights differ geographically and apply only to a specific region or country. Therefore, to expand your business abroad or in the case of diversifying your business internationally, it is important you understand the geographical IPR requirements and have a thorough consultation with legal experts who can do the due diligence and research for all your cross border IPR protection needs.
3. SEPARATE YOUR TEAMS:
It is important for organisations or entrepreneurs, especially in the ICT and luxury sectors, to have separate teams or departments for legal and technical work, along with a dedicated employee handbook. So that your employees remain aware of any erroneous IP breaches, your list of IP assets are accounted for and your organization’s alma mater abides by your IPR regulations, even after they have moved out of the organization.
It is advised that one must consult a legal expert on how to divide and proceed on an organization’s due diligence to guard your brand’s IPRs.
4. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AUDIT:
It is recommended that an IPR audit be performed prior to any new business start-up or diversification to identify the assets of your organisation or business that require IPR protection, what its current and future IP values are, and who the owners are. These are extremely important steps for a brand’s IPR protection.
Audits cover not just brand trademarks or copyrights but also other important assets such as your web domains, web content, etc.
Risking your brands to violations of IPRs can cost you a lot and have a far-reaching effect. Therefore, it is necessary to take preventive steps and get your new business, vertical, or brand identities verified so that your hard work does not get breached due to opportunists or you are not overstepping an already protected idea.
To make your business relevant, profitable, and secure for the future.
Consult our experts or contact us to find out more about how to identify and safeguard your IP assets.