7 reasons to worry about your business’s IP

Broadly speaking, IP (intellectual property) refers to an expression of an idea, as opposed to the idea itself. For example, if you imagine a poster design, that in itself does not give rise to any IP rights. However, if you create a physical representation of that idea, such as by drawing the design on paper, then that will give rise to IP rights.

  1. As a business, your IP can comprise some of your most valuable assets (such as market-sensitive information, client databases, web content, marketing strategy, code etc). Making the most of your IP rights can therefore be an important part of running your business effectively.
  2. If you are unaware or uncertain of the rights arising in your IP, then those rights may be infringed without you even knowing.
  3. Taking steps to protect your IP can make it easier to enforce your rights in the event of their infringement (such as obtaining compensation and injunctions).
  4. If you do not protect your business’s IP, then you may not benefit from it. For example, if your business invents a product but it is not patented, then it may be more difficult to prevent others from using the invention and therefore benefiting from it before you.
  5. Leaving IP unprotected and generally being unaware what constitutes infringement of a particular IP right may lessen any incentive for employees to, for example, create new designs for a product. It may lead them to believe the IP they create in the course of their employment is not regarded as valuable enough by their employer to be worth protecting.
  6. If your IP remains unprotected, it may be more likely that someone else will claim it as their own.
  7. Leaving your business’s IP unprotected may also make it more likely that it will be used without your knowledge or consent.

More IP essentials for your business