Whether you work from a laptop or from a giant office, your business is yours.
You’re probably under a lot of stress, micromanaging every aspect of your operation. On the whole, this is a normal part of the business world. The financial success of your company will ultimately fall on your shoulders, and it’s up to you to change it for the better.
That being said, there are some aspects you shouldn’t have to worry about at all. Intellectual property is one of those areas, and it’s something that is easily misunderstood. Protecting your IP can lead to the financial benefit of your business in numerous ways, and can be a vital tool on your belt.
What is intellectual property?
Simply put, intellectual property is all the stuff that isn’t tangible. It’s the stuff you can’t hold with your hand or see physically. It’s the ideas and concepts surrounding your business, such as branding, and not something physical, like a desk. It’s the look of your business, the design of your products. It’s that McDonalds ‘M’, or that Apple symbol. In short, it’s the things that define you.
Why is it important to my business?
Ultimately, your intellectual property is your identity. It’s that concept that makes your business unique, and in the long run it’s utterly invaluable. If you don’t protect it, others can steal or exploit it, and even sell it on. Many companies, like Trademark Consultants, can help protect your intellectual property so it can be used as you see fit. Some basic IP rights are protected by the law, but others are not. So, safeguarding what’s yours should be one of your first priorities as a business owner.
How can I benefit financially from my intellectual property?
The financial gain does come with a certain set of caveats. One, your business will need to be a relatively good size, and well known. Also, you run the risk of losing your intellectual property, albeit voluntarily.
This is because it will be up to you what to do with it. You could sell your intellectual property to another business, making a bit of money in the process. But again, since you’ve sold it, you lose that unique feel that you’ve cultivated.
Or, you can license it off to other businesses and people. This gives those people the rights to use your IP, but on the terms that you agree. This could be for a set amount of time, or in a certain way. You still gain money by licensing, but you retain more control over your property.
Non-financial benefits include being able to better defend your IP in court, assuming you have it protected. If you can produce the trademarks and patents that prove it belongs to you, there will be no question as to its authenticity.
Intellectual property can be a tricky business, but it’s one that’s worth keeping an eye on for business owners. There are profits to be made, and you can secure the unique feel of your company. It’s not an arduous process, but a vital one. It can help you expand your business further than ever before, so take care of it.