The first step in a successful IP strategy for your business is to ensure that the right intellectual property is obtained in the first place. All businesses have IP, and it is vital to identify which types apply to your business at an early stage and make sure that appropriate protection is obtained.
At Albright IP, we can help you to identify and audit the IP you already have and obtain the protection you need. Whether you are a start-up or an established business with an existing portfolio, we can work with you to create an IP strategy tailored to your circumstances.
Your business will almost certainly have some sort of brand. The name of your business is the identifier which allows repeat customers to find you again, and it allows happy customers to say who you are when they recommend your services to friends and colleagues. Competitors coming too close to your brand are taking advantage of the good reputation you have built up, and will damage your reputation if their service is poor.
Our advice to every business is to obtain Registered Trade Marks at an early stage. This considerably reduces the risk of expensive conflicts arising later, and ensures that your investment and hard work to acquire market share is protected. As well as registering your trade marks, you should keep good records of how brands were created and used, and when. Careful record-keeping now could save a real headache later on.
Copyright is also relevant to most businesses. You probably have a website – but do you know who owns the copyright in any content and layout created if you use an external web design agency? What about photographs you have commissioned to illustrate your web site and other marketing material? Copyright is an unregistered right which means there are no registration costs to pay, but it also places a burden on you to keep good records of any original work created within the business in case you need to substantiate your rights at a later stage.
Patents and/or design rights apply to anyone who is creating new products. A product which is a technical improvement on the state of the art for whatever reason may well be patentable, and almost any product which looks new can be protected with a Registered Design. We can obtain these rights on your behalf, and also advise on the unregistered protection which is available for designs – the key thing is to tell us before you tell anyone else. Please contact us now to discuss your situation further with one of our experienced attorneys.