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Can you afford not to utilise your IP?

In the current situation can businesses really afford to ignore assets which can provide capital to their businesses or help their businesses to grow? The answer seems obvious but many companies continue to ignore the intellectual property (IP) that they own.

A recent joint study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office (entitled ‘High Growth Firms and Intellectual Property Rights’) shows that SME’s who have filed at least one IP right are 21% more likely to subsequently enjoy a period of growth and 10% more likely to become a high growth firm than businesses without any IP right applications. Importantly, it also shows that SME’s are 33% more likely to become a high growth firm if they utilise a bundle of IP rights (trade marks, designs or patents) rather than rely on one single IP right.

The potential benefits of identifying, protecting and utilising your IP far outweigh the hurdles and costs entailed with the processes. Understanding these benefits and the way IP can be used to grow a business will hopefully encourage companies to make a more strategic approach to their IP.

By way of example obtaining relevant trade marks can bring about the following benefits:

1. Distinguish your products/services from those of your competitors thus protecting and enhancing your brand in the marketplace.

2. Safeguards investment in your brand and products/services.

3. Prevents confusion in the marketplace.

4. Stops competitors damaging, stealing or unfairly profiting from your brand.

5. Attract investors based on a strong reputation and brand image.

6. Generate revenue by licensing or leveraging your marks.

The above are just a selection of reasons why companies should implement a proper IP strategy. There are many other reasons why trade marks are a good idea and further articles will also touch on the benefits flowing from design or patent protection.

Given the findings of this report and the myriad benefits of obtaining IP protection the question businesses need to ask themselves is not whether they can afford IP protection but whether they can afford not to get IP protection.

If you would like to know more about the cost and processes involved with IP protection or would like to discuss how to implement an effective IP strategy please do not hesitate to contact Adam Turley on 01228 552600 or by email at a.turley@baineswilson.co.uk

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