Most people do not really care about intellectual property. It is only those who have a direct investment in something that ultimately makes them money that are concerned.
It goes without saying that large companies these days have an enormous amount of intellectual property behind them. It is what made them the success there are today. The most valuable thing for any company, but the larger ones in particular, is their brand and IP value. This leads to an interesting question. How much more do you think a company would be valued at if they actually invested more in IP registration and identification? It is food for thought.
For those major players on the block in the corporate world, such as BMW or Coke, they have gone to the trouble to clearly identify, maintain and keep their IP rights secure. It is obvious these efforts have played a big part in their successes as well. IP rights affect their operations, their appeal to current and potential investors, the ability to choose certain partnerships and increase the business value for a merger or sale.
What is the attraction here? What is more important than fixed assets? The answer is information. Information is more valuable now than actual physical property. Information has the added benefit of being a highly tradable asset when it is protected by IP laws, etc. This is what increases the value of a company and this is why you need to have even a passing knowledge of how IP works and why you need to make sure it is legally protected.
Still in the dark? Here are some of the areas you may create IP in, beginning with trade secrets. Trade secrets protect proprietary information, such as what is in the Coke formula, how do they run their company and what systems do they have that makes them successfully competitive? IP also comes in the form of trademarks that protect parts of your general brand. E.g. names, pictures and slogans.
Copyright is a very big part of IP and acts to protect things like recordings, pictures, books, documents and videos. There are of course exceptions to every rule and if you do not understand how IP works, then it is usually best to discuss your concerns with a competent Los Angeles trademark and copyright lawyer. You may also want to ask about inventions, processes and types of ideas, an area that deal with industrial designs and patents. It is a big and confusing world out there and knowledge is power for your business.
Where do you start? The first thing to do is identify what you currently have for IP in your company. If you are not certain how to do that or what to do and what classifies as IP, make that call to an experienced Los Angeles trademark and copyright lawyer and find out. Once you know what you have, the next step is tracking and managing it and registering it. While that may sound simple, it is not always that easy to do. That is why a good IP lawyer is worth their weight in gold, not to mention the fact that with the right legal advice, your business will be worth its weight in gold.
To learn more about David Alden Erikson, Attorney at Law, visit Daviderikson.com. Mr. Erikson specializes in Los Angeles fashion law, internet law, business litigation, trademark and copyright law.