Entrepreneur INDIA – 4 Reasons Why IP Protection Is Critical To Business Growth
Since IP is a valuable asset for businesses, its protection is important for organizations to set them apart from competitors and use IP as an essential part of their business strategy
By Tarun Kumar Bansal May 24, 2021Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Intellectual property (IP) is the backbone of any modern organization. IP protection acts as both a shield and a sword for businesses: helping them secure their long-term revenue streams through IP licensing and enforcing patent rights. Therefore, IP needs to be sufficiently protected from duplication as it can threaten the market position of an organization and affect its business growth.
What is IP Protection?ADVERTISING
IP protection safeguards ones’ original works such as inventions, designs, brand names, software codes, etc., via legal methods such as patents, trademarks and copyrights. These intellectual property rights (IPRs), conferred upon the innovators, enable businesses to legally prevent other market players from making or marketing their unique assets.
Since IP is a valuable asset for businesses, its protection is important for organizations to set them apart from competitors and use IP as an essential part of their business strategy.
Relation between IP protection and business growth
Since, filing and defending IP lawsuits is cost-intensive, most businesses steer clear of it by protecting their IP timely and appropriately. For instance, defending a patent lawsuit in the US may cost $1 million on average. Therefore, avoiding such high costs with the right IP protection ensures growth for small, medium, as well as large-scale businesses.
Why IP Protection is Vital for Business Growth
Occupying Market Share: When the intellectual asset of an IP-centric business is not protected under the relevant jurisdiction, it can not only result in duplication of such innovations but also unjust litigation against the original IP creator.
For example, if an IP is left unprotected, competitors can easily duplicate the technology, process, or innovation to gain a competitive edge. In this way, rival companies can capture a larger portion of the market share, which can hamper the business growth of the organization concerned.
Similarly, competitors can develop in parallel and also apply for IP protection for similar unprotected intellectual assets of a business that are not yet in public. If accepted, the adversary can then file an infringement lawsuit against the original company. This can lead to a huge loss of time and resources for the defendant organization and result in a stagnated business growth.
To Focus on Core Areas of Business Growth: According to the published handbook of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), IP should work for organizations and not the other way around. Therefore, if intellectual property is protected, it can help organizations save a lot of time and money in terms of filing for IP infringement claims, leaving them with enough scope to focus on their core areas of business growth.
When an IP is legally protected, organizations can focus on core areas of their business, such as finding means to monetize such IP and developing them into consistent revenue sources. Companies that are tied up in legal battles end up shelling out a significant amount of money that could have been dedicated to furthering their business growth.
For Better Identification of Assets: When companies seek IP protection, they need to undergo several processes, such as IP filing and examinations. It is only after these processes that their unique and innovative IP is granted legal protection against duplication. Such processes help companies to build a more robust IP portfolio, helping their business development teams to identify the most lucrative pathways to further the business objective of the organization. When IP assets are better identified, they can be monetized more profitably to induce business growth.
For Better Identification of Target Markets: Organizations are always looking to identify the patent landscape of competitors’ patents so that they can develop similar innovations without causing legal infringement. This strategy works both ways and companies seek to have their IP protected in multiple jurisdictions. While filing for IP protection, companies gain a decent idea about the existing patents across different jurisdictions. This develops a wider business outlook for the target markets of competitors, helping businesses to identify potential new target markets to boost business growth.
Without appropriate IP protection, businesses can often miss out on opportunities of licensing their IP to generate long-term business growth as well as may lose out to competition. However, their primary objective should be to identify relevant IP and to secure it before trying to monetize it.
Further, companies may be restricted from using their own invention, in case competitors are able to protect it before them. This is a huge problem because businesses, especially small-scale ones, are generally not resourceful enough to protect themselves against IP infringement lawsuits. Therefore, timely IP protection is critical to their business growth.
Originally published on: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/372690