World Health Organization defines intellectual property (IP) as an overall term for property in creation of mind, including inventions, literary and artistic works, images, and designs. There are two categories of IP: intellectual property that includes literary and artistic works; and industrial property that includes inventions protected by patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and geographical indications. According to Oxford University these categories have their own specific legal right which protect owners of intellectual property.
Intellectual property rights is crucial for any businesses. Andrea H. Evans, founder of Evans IP Law, at SmallBizLady commented that “IP is important to entrepreneurs because all entrepreneurs have some type of intellectual property.” Hence, it is a must for business owners to acknowledge themselves about IP so they can identify and take proactive steps to protect their business overall. John F. Hornick, senior counsel on virtual aspect of IP Law, in his research, added that IP, especially copyright law, can be a powerful business weapon. Thus, it is important now, more than ever, to become copyright conscious.
Hornick wrote in his research, “Many small business people do not know that copyrights protect computer programs, database, websites, proposals, newsletters, training films, manuals, technical publications, directories, architectural works, architectural and technical drawings, and promotional and advertising materials, both at home and abroad. Also, fewer still realize that copyrights (and also trademarks and patents) might be used as collateral for secured loans.”
Meanwhile, Laurie Griffith, principal at Lopata, Flegel & Company LLP, explained that IP is much broader than statutory protections. IP includes information that has been created to make or market its products. For example, it includes innovations a company has invented to make products or services better at meeting customer’s or market’s needs. “In fact, not all company have patents, trademarks, or copyrights. But all companies should have created IP in form of information, communications, and innovations that provide real value to business,”added Griffith.
Intellectual property is something that separates you from your competitor. All the marked law can make your company product and service unique. Additionally, this kind of law can set you up to be successful in future and enhance value of your company for a potential exit. Protected IP is a key to securing this value. Therefore, every business owners should ensure that they have IP protection law in order to stay competitive and safe.
In sum, intellectual property, the broad meaning of business protection, is something business should have. Not only it protects business from illegal duplicator, but it also gives business opportunity to be more competitive in marketplace. Additionally, it is also important to acknowledge not only yourself, but your entire business team as well about intellectual property which ensures safety to your all-inclusive business.