Intellectual Property: Why is it important?

Intellectual Property is something that appears in our daily lives and people are becoming more aware of it. With technology moving at a rapid pace and companies fighting for their share in the market place, protecting a valuable asset such as Intellectual Property is becoming that much more important.

For viewers of Dragons Den, you are all too familiar with them asking the inventors and entrepreneurs ‘do you have a patent, is your logo trade mark protected’ The entrepreneurs are just not aware of the correct protection they need for their product. For example having a registered trade mark for a logo is great, but if you do not have a patent for your invention, it can be copied and you lose the potential fortune the invention could make you.

Trade Marks are not designed to give a person or company a monopoly over the market. A Trade marks function is to act as an indication of origin, so when you look at the mark you automatically know that product belongs to that company or individual. For example you see the famous tick and you automatically think of Nike. For a company wanting to build a brand, a trade mark is the way forward. Plus having the added protection of that logo or word being registered will add to the value of your business.

A Trade Mark can become so popular, that people then refer to that product as the brand name. How many times have people said ‘right I am going to do the hoovering’ but as we all know Hoover is a brand of vacuum cleaner. Another example is Sellotape, another item that is now commonly called by a brand name.

Speaking to someone in the IP profession is the best way forward when looking to see what protection is best for your invention or for protecting your brand. They will be able to assess what is needed in order to obtain the best protection. For example you may have an invention that will need patent protection, but you may also want to build a brand with the invention. Which could mean protecting a logo or the words relating to that invention.

As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, Intellectual Property is everywhere. We are surrounded by adverts and inventions that are worth billions of pounds and Intellectual Property plays a huge part in the success of this. Ranging from the adverts you see on the way to work and the patent protected technology in your smart phones and tablets.

Author: Craig Kelly