In today’s global innovation economy, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are a valuable asset for startups as they drive creativity leading to better delivery of products and services for their consumers. While initially, all startups have indispensable demands and priorities, protection of Intellectual Property (IP) often gets neglected, mostly because of the high costs involved. However, Intellectual Property is a crucial asset for a startup on its journey to success.
WHY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS CRUCIAL FOR STARTUPS?
Conducting a preliminary search for IP Portfolio Management Services like Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Industrial Designs, Domain Names, and so forth, can give startups an idea about the possibility of success of their underlying business model. For instance, if a similar or identical trademark, patent, or design forming the key basis of their business model is already registered, then startups are in a better position to assess their business model and make modifications, if required, to avoid any future conflicts.
The simplest way in which a startup can succeed by giving competition to its rivals is by patenting its inventions and ideas. When a startup patents its ideas, its valuation increases, and the innovators are adequately rewarded. Startups can also take commercial advantage of its patentable ideas. Furthermore, investors are likely to acquire a startup whose Intellectual Property Rights are well protected. Hence, patentable ideas are vital to the success of startups and are also prevented from being copied by rival entities.
By protecting their IP assets, startups can prevent themselves from future conflicts and litigations. Intellectual Property Rights also create legal security for startups and allow them to channel their resources towards business development. A well-planned strategy for IP protection can successfully protect the business models of startups from being copied.
Moving ahead of the legal aspects, IP is also an intangible asset that can be monetized and can offer aid in challenging times. For monetizing IP, there are various avenues like selling, franchising, or earning royalties from IP assets, which can give startups an edge in the competitive market. By implementing strong IP protection schemes, startups will find themselves in better positions with respect to pricing their goods and services. The strength of the startups’ IP portfolio management services also influences the investor’s decisions while raising funds.
HOW STARTUPS CAN STRATEGIZE TO PROTECT THEIR IPR?
Intellectual Property Rights protect several aspects of a startup including its name, logo, inventions, designs, advertisements, goods, services, and so forth. Therefore, the following strategies must be effectively adopted by startups to protect their IP Rights.
PRIORITIZING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION:
Startups must make an effort to evaluate and give utmost priority to the IP Rights involved in their business model at the very initial stage. Failing to do so will create a wide range of problems for them, especially during the stage of negotiations with investors.
REGISTERING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS:
As registered Intellectual Property Rights carry a greater value, prevent unauthorized use, and act as evidence of use before courts and enforcement agencies, startups must register their IP rights to safeguard their brand’s entity and reputation.
DUE DILIGENCE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS:
It is necessary for startups to ensure that they aren’t violating the IP Rights of any company or an individual to prevent any legal action against them. Therefore, they must be careful with their IP decisions from the very beginning and must conduct due diligence of their IR Rights.
IMPLEMENTING CLEAR AND EFFECTIVE IP POLICIES:
Startups must have an Intellectual Property policy for maintaining their IP rights in the long term to ensure no disputes among their active members, which is one of the main concerns for their failure.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AGREEMENTS:
Having proper documentation in the form of official agreements can make a huge difference in the success or failure of startups. Startups need to ensure that their IP is protected via a proper agreement between them and the third-party. It is highly advisable for startups to enter into licensing or user agreements to secure their IP Rights.