Keep an ‘i’ on your IP

As our businesses evolve, we try new ideas, products and service lines.

Some ideas will fly whilst most will fizzle out.

For the handful of ideas that do become successful, it is important that we take adequate steps to protect any valuable underlying intellectual property that is generated.

This IP protection can take numerous forms from more formal processes including patents, trademarks and copyright to more straightforward internal planning such as ensuring that any intellectual property is identified including where, say in a company group structure, it resides?

For example, do you want your crown jewel intellectual property sat in the same company as your more risky trading activities…?

Might a separate intellectual property holding company be a better, safer option to ring-fence these valuable intangible assets from commercial risk?

At its most basic level – but often overlooked – is whether you have registered the relevant domain name for the new brand / product / service and whether you have incorporated the relevant (dormant) company name for protection?

Taking steps to protect your valuable intellectual property now will help both increase the underlying value of your business for a future sale and future-proof it against the evil plans of potential ‘idea-squatters’.

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