How to use unregistered IP to generate growth
Welcome to 2020 everyone! It’s a new year, with new resolutions, new energy and bright new ideas. We are going to look at how one might use IP to generate growth.
Let’s start by saying that your rights might vary by the type of intellectual property and whether you register it or not. For example, you do not have to register trademarks or copyrights in order to have some protection, but registration gives you more rights. Patent protection requires registration in all cases.
Let’s break it down. A copyright is most notable for work of authorship. It is used for books, a movie or any other written work. Fortunately for some, just by having created the written work, congratulations, you have a copyright in it!
For those who like to play it safe, some people might even make a copy of that and send the copy to themselves in the mail so they have a posted dated proof that they might later call upon if needed. Same thing could be done by publishing it online, getting federal registration. Remember, this doesn’t give you any more rights to the work you created but what it does do for you is allow you to possibly claim more damages if someone were to infringe on your copyright.
Is an idea intellectual property?
Well the short answer is no. Unfortunately, despite what you may have heard from a “friend of a friend”, there is no effective way to protect an idea with any form of intellectual property protection. Copyrights protect expression and creativity, not innovation. Patents protect inventions.
A design right protects the actual visual appearance of a product or item and gives the designer exclusive rights for that appearance to the extent that, if necessary, there is a legal right to stop an unauthorized party from producing or using your design.
If a registered design is granted it will last for up to 25 years but needs to be renewed every five years. Unregistered design rights last for 10 years in the UK, and three years in the EU, from the end of the first year that the product is first marketed.
Intellectual property is a fantastic driver of economic growth. Protecting your IP allows you to put a product on the market in an exclusive fashion, allowing you to demand a price premium for your invention. This money could then be reused to invest in your company’s R&D programs. These earning do not always land up in the pockets of the shareholders as dividends, contrary to common belief. Money generated from a new drug for example, in many cases 40 – 60% of that is typically reinvested into R&D. This is of course a huge driver for economic growth, allowing investments in new products. So Intellectual Property rights are not just essential but are also a proven significant driver to generate growth.
The most common ways to make money from your Intellectual Property:
- Develop it. Simple enough, this means you use your IP to create a product, and then market and sell it yourself.
- License it. Someone else pays you to use your IP, such as a patent. They’ll either pay you a one-time fee or you could earn a royalty on every sale.
- Sell it off. Sometimes, it makes more sense to sell full ownership of your IP to a third party for a one-time fee.
Although it is stating the obvious, but we must mention that the most common error made by inventors is to reveal their invention before applying for a patent. If you have gone ahead and made your invention public, you could lose the possibility of being granted a patent, so you want to proceed with caution.
Good luck and remember to partner with an experienced company like SHIP Global IP to ensure your valuable IP is looked after and managed in the most efficient way possible.