Safeguarding Core Intellectual and Creative Assets
Safeguarding Core Intellectual and Creative Assets – Intellectual properties and creativities are the foundation of your business and protecting it should be a key consideration before you invest your hard earned resources into it. As conscious professionals we need to acknowledge that ideas are a hugely valuable resource, and if used prudently it can deliver long term brand equity and profitable returns. Intellectual properties can either be scientific inventions or creative works that you produced after pouring your heart and soul into it and thus you have every right to capitalize on them. At the same time it is important to protect it from being stolen or copied from unauthorized uses.
Another important thing about it is that Intellectual property shares many of the characteristics of real and personal property, associated rights permit intellectual property to be treated as an asset that can be bought, sold, licensed or given away. Many countries these days allow IPs to be used as collaterals for funding or investments.
With this article our main aim is to let readers understand various forms of Intellectual Property and how to protect them right from the days of conception. As we mentioned earlier that IPs can either be scientific works/business related activities or creative works and depending on their nature it can be classified into following groups.
Copyrights- Copyrights give protection to films, music, written works of fiction, poems, architectural designs and other works of cultural value.
Patents- A patent gives the inventor the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using or selling a similar product for a fixed period of time. Mostly it is 20 years from the date of patent grant. All kinds of drugs, machines and devices are protected by patents and hence it is important for importers, manufacturers and sellers to do a thorough patent search in various authoritative databases.
Trademarks- Trademarks are distinctive symbols, words or designs that identify certain help consumers determine the actual source of the product. Thus before protecting a mark as your own it is important to do a thorough search for trademarks in various databases
Trade secrets- Trade secret is any information that may be used in the operation of a business that can provide economical and business edge to an enterprise. For example, recipes for popular food products, customer mailing lists, advertising strategies and distribution processes fall under this category.
Geographical Indications- Geographical indications identify a good as having a certain quality, reputation or other characteristic attributed to its location of origin.
Why do countries need to protect intellectual property?
In this technological era, the prosperity of a nation is determined by how equipped the country is in terms of science and innovation. In other words the economic development of a country has direct relation with its potential to innovate. Apart from this following are the reasons to protect IP.
- Safeguarding intellectual property rights fosters economic growth
- Provides incentives for technological innovation
- Attracts investment that will create jobs and opportunities
How to protect IP
Depending on the nature of the IP the mechanism of protection can differ, still, the fundamentals remain the same in which we determine the type of protection we intend to seek protection for, do a thorough search (it may either be patent search or search for trademark). Doing a thorough, comprehensive and full patent search/trademark search is important as we need to ensure that we are not reinventing the wheel. If a company has an in-house team to do patent search it is good and in case you don’t have it you can outsource patent search services to companies that are specialized in doing such searches.