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Why Is IP So Important?

Intellectual Property (“IP”) is a broad term used to describe “intangible” property resulting from a creative act or process.

This typically includes patents, trade marks, designs and copyright.

This is in contrast to “tangible” property such as land, buildings, factories, vehicles, raw materials, etc.

However, just because something is intangible, that doesn’t make it any less valuable.

In fact, the opposite is often true.

IP can be the most valuable asset of a business.  For example, the APPLE™ brand, widely regarded as the one of the most valuable in the world, is estimated to be worth US$516 billion*!

Whether it is a multi-national pharmaceutical giant, a regional restaurant chain or a single person business, every business is affected by IP.

By its nature, a business’s IP is unique to it.

It could be an invention, an innovative process, a product design, branding or a combination of all of these.

Ultimately, your IP creates a market advantage and sets your business apart from others. Your IP rights symbolise what your business represents to your customers, whether this be your approach, levels of creativity or the quality and value of your products and services.

Being the first to do something, or becoming a market leader, is worth protecting and gives you the competitive edge.

IP rights, and particularly trade marks and brands, are key to the promotion and marketing of your business.

Today’s consumers have an abundance of choice, so fostering and maintaining brand loyalty is an important factor in any successful business.

Legally protected and enforceable IP rights can be used to prevent competitors from “piggy-backing” on your investment, hard work and innovation.

Securing adequate protection from the start creates a strong legal basis to stop foul play. As well as that, merely securing protection can avoid expensive litigation in the future.

IP rights can also function as an important revenue stream for businesses and individuals. Rights can be sold or licensed to generate on-going income.

Just like tangible assets, properly protected IP rights can also be used as a means to raise finance and secure investment.

Knowing what to protect and when to do so is key to any business’s success.

Protecting valuable Intellectual Property can make the difference between securing the long term success of your business, or losing out to a competitor.

* source Statista (most valuable brands worldwide in 2024)

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