As this global crisis changes from a short to a long term-issue businesses are starting to prepare for the new normal. For some, this may involve quite a major pivot in their product offering or target consumer. Whilst the ability to change and adapt to a new market is the essence of good business, it’s important to make sure that your IP protection does not get left behind.
New products will mean new IP, if any element of this has been developed by a third party then you’re likely to need an IP assignment (IP is normally held by the author of a work unless they are an employee acting in the course of business). If these new products fall under your existing brand name then you may need to consider expanding your trade mark protection to cover new classes of goods or services. If the products are going to have a distinct and separate brand name then certainly a new trade mark application would be required, ideally with a clearance search first to make sure that the name is free to use.
Equally if your business is now intending to operate in different markets your IP protection will need to be extended to cover those markets. Again, in the context of trade marks, this often requires careful checking to ensure that other brands don’t already have a monopoly over your product name in those territories.
In a wider sense now more than ever your IP is going to be the most important commercial asset of your business. It has the unique power of showing your intrinsic value, even when sales are slow and it’s the first thing investors will look for. But more than that, it is your best tool to combat the inventible rush of new competitors entering the market keen to monopolise on its changing landscape.
So, if you would like discuss how best to improve your IP protection in a cost-conscious and effective way, just email email@example.com to arrange a free consultation with one of our solicitors.
Written by Will Miles, Solicitor