How the expense of protecting IP can pay itself off

Protecting your intellectual property can be both a chore and an expense. The good news is, the upfront investment can pay for itself – and many times over, in some situations. Here are six ways that protecting your IP can make your richer in the long run:

1. Protected IP gives you a strategic advantage that your competitors can’t legally share

When you patent a product, process or design, you earn the exclusive right to use the patented IP for a set term. This gives you an advantage over your competition.

2. Protected IP can save you the expense of legal disputes over trademark names

Recognizing when you’re vulnerable and taking the right steps can leave you with more money in your pocket at the end of the day.

3. Protected IP can save you the expense of loss of good will

Another cost that can befall you if somebody else uses your trademark, or uses branding easily confusable with yours, is loss of the “good will” your brand has built with the public. Whether it’s accidental or deliberate, another company can put themselves in a position to be confused with your brand, and their actions could affect the reputation of your brand.

4. Trademark licensing

Once your trademark is registered, you can license it to other companies for a fee. Other companies will use your brand to sell their merchandise (examples include Ford and Coca Cola printed on shirts not made by the respective trademark holders), and this requires little involvement on your part. All you really have to do is put the licensing terms in contract and let the money roll in.

5. Patent licensing

Another way to make money off licensing is to license your patented IP. Again, this allows you to enjoy a revenue stream without doing anything except set the terms of the license.

6. Protected IP can increase the market value of your business

Finally, having your IP protected will increase the market value of your business. Investors like to quantify and mitigate risk, and IP is one of those things that can help make your business feel like a sure thing. Potential buyers love to see predictable revenue streams and protected competitive advantages.

If you want to protect or leverage your IP, the best thing to do is consult an expert. A trademark or patent attorney can save you both time and money, as well as eliminate the risk of error, when it comes to:

  • filing for a patent
  • registering a trademark
  • evaluating trademark strength
  • drafting contract to license your IP

Businesses in Palm Springs, Seattle, Bozeman, or Pittsburgh can consult Free Vector Advisors for legal and business advice.

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