Immediately Increase the Value of Your Business

Protect Your Intellectual Property

A $5 million investment lost. Recently, an investor wanted to invest $5 million in a company, but he wanted to be sure their intellectual property was well managed. I was asked to review their IP portfolio. It included patents that had not been assigned to the company, trademarks and copyrights that had not been registered.  The IP portfolio was a mess. When I reported my findings, the investor passed on the investment. With proper management this would not have happened. What you need is an IP management system.

Without managing your intellectual property there can be other consequences. For example, patents lost because they were not filed on time. Getting invited to a lawsuit for failing to investigate whether your product infringes other’s patents. Lawsuits requiring companies to change their name, years after opening their doors. The loss of rights in copyrights because you didn’t take the necessary steps.

Intellectual property is continuing to increase in value. Every business has intellectual property and it makes up a major portion of your intangible assets. Intangibles have grown from filling 20% of corporate balance sheets to 80%, due in large part to the expanding nature, and rising importance, of intangibles as represented by intellectual capital vs. bricks-and-mortar, research and development vs. capital spending, services vs. manufacturing, and the list goes on. How Intangible Assets Are Affecting Company Value In The Stock Market, Forbes, 2017.

Even though every business has intellectual property, most treat it as an afterthought. Someone invents a new product, and you might think about patent protection. Someone develops a new trademark or logo, and you might think about trademark protection. Or you launch a new product or service, and you get invited to a lawsuit because no one checked for infringement.

You Can’t Ignore Intellectual Property Protection

If you don’t have a system to recognize, collect and protect your Intellectual Property, you will lose valuable assets. There are four types of IP:

  • trademarks,
  • copyrights,
  • trade secrets and

Each of these has specific requirements for protection. If you don’t meet them, they are lost.  You must manage your IP.

How Do You Protect Your IP?

You need a system to protect your IP

  • First, your team needs to recognize that you have IP and it is valuable.
  • Second, you need a collection process for collecting your potential IP.
  • Third, you need to meet with IP counsel at least quarterly to review your portfolio and what you collected to determine what protection is needed.

The Takeaway

You can’t wait. You could be losing IP at this moment. Implement your system today.

IP has never been more valuable. You need to take advantage of it.

You need a system that is:

  • automatic,
  • takes very little time to implement, and
  • ensures your IP will be protected and you will be protected from infringement.

Give me a call if you want to learn more about my system. You’ll be glad you did.

About the Author:

Bill Honaker, “The IP Guy” is a former USPTO Examiner, a partner with Dickinson-Wright, and author of the forthcoming book, Invisible Assets – How to Maximize the Hidden Value in Your Business. To download a sample chapter, click here.

To get answers to your questions click here to schedule a time to talk, email Bill@IPGuy.com, or give him a call at 248-318-7015.

Subscribe to IP Insights

to receive weekly updates on intellectual property issues affecting your business.