3 IP mistakes SMEs make (and what to do instead)
What’s the most important resource of your business? If you ask different entrepreneurs, chances are you’ll receive a range of answers starting with “the employees” and ending with the “products $ services we create”.
However, a few will also have intellectual property (IP) on the list of highly treasured resources. And they are not wrong! In today’s day and age, IP is what shows your value as a startup or SME. Plus, you can use IP to tip the balance in your favor in many business-related scenarios.
But your IP is only valuable if it’s well-protected. The moment you’re losing grip of your inventions, copyrights, trademarks, and other similar tools, your startup’s value drops faster than the value of a car being driven off the lot.
In this aspect, inexperienced entrepreneurs and business owners tend to make a few critical mistakes that can undermine their growth efforts in the long term. To help you avoid such mistakes, we’ll discuss the top three ones that happen most often.
#1: No Professional Help
Do you know the difference between copyright and trademark? Do you understand how to file for a patent and whether you need a provisional patent or a permanent one?
This sort of information is available online, but the legal aspects are difficult to understand and complex in nature. So, if like most business owners, your time is extremely limited, you need the help of a law firm specializing in these aspects, like Heer Law.
Professional lawyers can guide your development efforts, help with documentation, and make sure your submission has all the chances of being accepted on the first try. Plus, when you work with a law professional, you also have access to guidance and advice.
#2: IP Protection is Placed on the Backburner
IP protection and cyber protection are two of the most ignored crucial elements of a business. And it’s easy to understand why – after all, a tight budget can only be stretched so much. Also, the fact that there are no immediate benefits or urgent needs, makes it easier to place these on the backburner and often forget about them until the need strikes.
However, by then it is already too late since the damage has already occurred. In today’s world, businesses need to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. And the worst usually means a data breach that leaks your super-secret invention plans to the world.
Or, someone who is using your brand’s reputation to sell low-quality products/services that will damage your image and relationship with the customers.
To avoid such a disastrous scenario, learn how to protect your IP resources and how to build an impenetrable IT system that works in your favor.
#3: We Don’t Have any IP to Protect
IP is often associated with patents and inventions, but the field is a lot wider and more complex than that. However, this belief led many entrepreneurs and SEM owners on the wrong path.
Just by registering a website domain, a business name, a brand, or a business logo you already have a few IP elements that need protecting. These are particularly important because they help customers identify your business and, in time, your brand and business can become one.
So by choosing to implement all the protection tools at your disposal, you also choose to protect your business in the long term.
IP is an important part of today’s business world and entrepreneurs and business owners must pay attention to it.
Otherwise, due to the incredible speed of information sharing, it’s incredibly easy to lose your grip on your golden goose idea or concept. And once lost, it’s incredibly difficult to recover.