Today, we are celebrating World Intellectual Property Day. The recognition, importance and embracement of intellectual property (such as copyright, know-how, design rights, patents etc.) has grown significantly over the years and for many of our clients intellectual property rights (IPRs) form the core of their company strategy, value and, frankly, their existence.
When entrepreneurs start out, protecting IPRs is often not a consideration at the top of their to-do-list. It is only later on when the start-up has actually grown into fully organisation that the reliance on intellectual property becomes apparent, whether that is for large scale deals or funding or other growth event. This is because it is imperative to find out whether someone owns the intellectual property for their ideas and if not, what exact steps they need to take to protect such ideas. This is especially important as there are so many benefits that come with intellectual property rights.
For example, IPRs give an entrepreneur sole ownership of their concept and can prevent a competitor from directly copying or using their idea. IPRs are also an asset of the company and can be used as collateral when an entrepreneur is trying to obtain additional finance. Alternatively, IPRs can be used to secure additional revenue streams where an organisation licenses its IPRs to others and collect royalties, as is the case in a franchise for example. The IPRs can also be entirely sold on their own or alongside an entrepreneur’s entire business. However, all too often we have seen businesses unwittingly losing control or ownership of the IPRs that they thought that they had: whether a departed co-founder left with the IPRs, or ownership remained with a contractor who had not properly assigned rights to development code. When important IPRs are lost, in many cases the entire value of the business is lost.
Aria Grace Law is a commercial law firm which advises numerous clients who are technology and fintech companies and helps implement a sensible IPRs framework. This enables our clients to invest in developing their ideas with the comfort that such ideas can and will be protected. The promotion of these rights also means that new ideas translates into economic growth which can have a positive effect on everyone.
If you are an entrepreneur and have a brilliant idea that you believe you can monetize in some shape or form, make sure that you think about how you gather in the intellectual property for this idea and if not, how you can obtain such rights (when certain steps are required to secure the rights) and subsequently capitalise on these rights. If you would like advice or guidance on this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are not just lawyers; we are #EthicalWorld advocates who deliver legal services at low cost with diversity and equality at our core - we believe that positive ideas can make for a better society and want to help you.