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Part 7 of the Startup Playbook Series.

In part 7 of the Startup Playbook Series, we take a high-level look at intellectual property considerations.

What role does Intellectual Property play?

For some clients, their Intellectual Property is their brand’s greatest asset. Different types of IP include copyright, trade marks, patents and trade secrets. If your intellectual property is an important aspect of your business, it’s important to think about how you might manage and deal with the different types of IP in your portfolio.

Your Intellectual Property likely relates to those ideas and concepts that underpin your business. IP protection is not only a mechanism to safeguard those ideas, but it also has the advantage of providing you with a competitive edge and making you more attractive to investors. Having an effective IP strategy places a barrier on your competitors to use and benefit from the ideas you have worked so hard to create.

Your brand identity

Intellectual Property protection also extends to your brand’s identity. When it comes to your brand, you have probably invested heavily in its design, look and feel. It has a value. It is worth protecting.

As your brand grows and depending on how it is that you will identify yourself, there are different ways that you can protect yourself. The laws of copyright and trade marks will be a great asset to you here.

It’s also incredibly important to make sure that you aren’t treading on anyone else’s toes, even if unintentionally. The consequences of using someone else’s branding can mean that you have to start all over again… or let them in on what you are doing.

Using third party Intellectual Property

Sometimes you might need to use someone else’s Intellectual Property to develop your products or provide your services. You can use another person’s IP through either licence or assignment.

Any licences that you have make up an important part of your IP portfolio. It’s important to understand the boundaries of any licences you might have and how to best utilise your access to that IP.

Intellectual Property: Checklist

  • What types of IP are you likely to deal with?
  • What is your branding? Is it capable of protection?
  • Is anyone else using a similar brand?
  • Who has created your brand? Do you own it?
  • Are you providing or using a process that is unique?
  • Are you using anyone else’s intellectual property in making your products or services?
  • Do you need to use anybody else’s IP? 

Read on to Part 8: Privacy.

Stay tuned for more content on IP protections for startups, the different types of intellectual property, and the best ways to protect them. In the meantime, you can get in touch with the Burch&Co Startup & Capital team to start creating your customised intellectual property strategy.

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