How to manage your intellectual property rights?
Best practices for managing Intellectual Property rights
It is essential for every company to consider managing their intellectual property rights. Too often companies fail to consider intellectual property rights until it is too late. All businesses and especially those in a fast-moving sector like electronics should add IPRs to their list of essential things to consider.
Properly considering IPRs early on can help to give a business a competitive benefit, safeguard its commercial interests and avoid headaches down the line. Therefore, it must be relevant to a business and an awareness of how to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls.
Benefits of considering IPRs early
The benefits of considering IPRs early on include:
- Helping to ensure the business owns or has the rights to exploit the IP assets needed within the business.
- Enabling the business to more effectively enforce its IPRs and stop others from stealing or copying the business’ IP assets. It may include its name, the names of its products or brands, its inventions, the design or look of its products, etc.
- Avoiding the penalties which can come with delays.
- Avoiding potentially lengthy and costly disputes which may arise from the potential infringement of third party IPRs.
- Putting the business in a better position to attract investment by showing that it has taken the necessary steps to protect its IP assets.
What IPR are relevant in the electronics sector?
IPRs generally fall into two categories. It includes registered and unregistered. In general, register IPRs must apply, while unregistered IPRs arise automatically. For instance, trademarks, registered designs, patents under registered IPR and copyright, design right, domain names, confidential information, passing off, and licenses.
Patents protect new Technological Developments like inventions. If granted, it will give the patent holder a monopoly on the commercialization of the invention protected by the patent for a period of up to twenty years. However, owning a patent will give a business the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention protected by the patent without the patent holder’s consent.
Registered trademarks allow a business to protect its brand. Once obtained, a registered trademark would provide a business with the ability to take action against anyone. They must use a sign identical to the registered trademark without permission.
The shape of an object may be automatically protected in the design right. However, it is easier to protect a design if it is registered. Once a design is registered, it allows a business to take legal action against infringement and copying in an easy manner.
Copyright can arise in computer programs, software coding, databases, spreadsheets. Also, it includes screen displays, virtual reality environments, apps, content on websites or characters in games.
It allows the owner to prevent others from copying the copyrighted work, distributing copies of it, renting or lending copies of the copyrighted work and many more.
A trade secret is a special right that can only protect certain types of information. However, information considers a trade secret if it is not common knowledge amongst those working in that particular sector.