Canaan Bridges Consulting Inc. | 5 min read
This is the second article in a three part series on how intellectual property strategy can be used in your business.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many firsts for businesses and individuals globally. Many persons have become entrepreneurs for the first time, some out of necessity and others out of aspirations to complement existing income streams. The profile of a start up venture is never uniform – some businesses are team led, others are solely operated, some offer products and services that are relatively unique, while others offer products and services that are already easily available in consumer markets. Is there any use for intellectual property in start ups? Let’s look at two ways that intellectual property can be useful in start up ventures.
Copyright Protection: Software applications and Animations
Interests in digital technology and digital platforms have fueled an increase demand for various types of software applications and animated videos from diverse stakeholders. Startups that are in this space can use copyright protection to safeguard the proprietary content of their creations. Copyright protects literary works including computer programs.
Where copyright registration is available, it offers developers and other creators the opportunity to secure protection for their literary works, thereby adding a level of business confidence and standing in their business offerings. Registration does not prevent infringements. However, a registered copyright holder usually has a better chance of successfully protecting their proprietary right against infringement than one that is unregistered. Take advantage of registration where possible. Across jurisdictions, copyright registration is comparatively affordable compared to other types of intellectual property registrations.
A Trademark is not just about mitigating counterfeit
If your startup sees trademarks as an afterthought – you may need to rethink your business strategy. Trademarks not only convey specific brand information about a product or service. Trademarks can become the most valuable asset of your business, driven by factors such as the reputation or goodwill of your business in its consumer markets.
An intellectual property valuation reveals the value apportioned to a business’s intangible content. From a valuation context, trademarks can be a useful collateral in securing a loan for your business. Start building value to your trademark early by aligning trademark management with your other business goals. One sound trademark strategy is to apply an out of the box approach to how you position trademark commercialization and management in your start up. Many countries are moving away from requiring a mark to have been used in commerce before the proprietor can apply for a trademark. This trajectory is helpful to start ups as it means that the proprietor can seek trademark registration in the early stages of the business.
Global consumers markets can become saturated very easily. This is why each plan in your business strategy needs to be sound – and make practical sense in the long term. The use of IP in startups can make good business sense, including in its early stages. Incorporating an IP strategy as an aspect of an entrepreneur’s overall business strategy may be an action plan worth pursuing.
Do you want a tailored IP strategy for your business? Contact Us.