Intellectual Property Rights can be a valuable asset for individuals and businesses alike. They can provide a competitive advantage over others, which, in turn, can lead to increased sales, revenue, and profits.
However, not many people leverage their intellectual property properly, which leads to significant financial, reputational, and other losses. In this blog, we have listed some of the common mistakes related to intellectual property.
Not Registering Intellectual Property
Unfortunately, most individuals and businesses fail to register and take ownership of their intellectual property. One of the most common reasons for this is that they are not aware of what constitutes intellectual property, the different types of intellectual property, and how to register for intellectual property rights.
Having Joint Ownership of Intellectual Property
Even if individuals and businesses register for intellectual property rights, there are a number of mistakes that can be made that can result in a loss of rights, limited rights, or unintended consequences. One mistake that can create chaos is having multiple owners of a single piece of intellectual property. In some cases, a joint owner may be entitled to use the protected intellectual property for their own purposes. They may also be able to sell their interest to a competitor which could have extremely negative consequences for other joint owners.
Having intellectual property by itself is not enough. It is important that proactive steps are taken to weed out potential infringements and nip them in the bud. In some cases, ignoring an infringer simply results in a potential loss of income or customers. In other circumstances, failing to stop infringers can result in a loss of intellectual property rights.
Not Having Employees Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements
A failure to have suitable non-disclosure agreements (NDA) signed by employees can prove disastrous. NDAs clearly set out for employees what is deemed confidential and can prevent scenarios where employees move to other organizations and disclose your confidential information. NDAs often also confirm who the owner of any intellectual property created belongs to. This can prevent issues where an employee attempts to argue their ownership of an asset.
With any confidential information, best practices include only providing the confidential information to those employees and individuals who need the information and have signed appropriate non-disclosure agreements.
Not Hiring an Intellectual Property Agent
Registering, protecting, and defending intellectual property rights can be a confusing, lengthy, tedious, and tiresome process. Mistakes during filing processes can be costly. In some cases, a mistake simply requires a letter or request to correct, but in others, a mistake can be the difference between success and failure. Hiring a registered patent and/or trademark agent can be beneficial. A registered agent has specific training and skills in the protection of intellectual property and can help prevent costly mistakes from occurring.
For more information about intellectual property and the protection of these assets, contact us.