Develop your IP strategy

Why have an IP strategy?

If your business creates something that can be legally owned, it makes sense to develop a strategy to protect it.

You should consider having an intellectual property (IP) strategy when:

Also make sure you review your IP strategy on a regular basis, especially when there is a significant change to your business.

Register your IP

An effective strategy for businesses to protect their IP is to formally register it with IP Australia. Though registering is more costly and time consuming than other strategies, without formal protection you will have to rely on common law to prove ownership.

When your business creates a unique idea, product, service, or design, you may need to apply for IP rights to protect it and stop it from being used by someone else.

A serious risk to your business can also come from staff members and contractors revealing your intellectual property to others. Having a confidentiality agreement as part of your IP strategy will protect you in the event of having to prove a breach of your IP.

Conduct an IP audit

Often referred to as ‘due diligence’, conducting an audit of your intellectual property can be highly valuable. This is especially important when there is change to your business such as a merger or significant purchase. It will help determine the value of your IP, who owns it, its legal status and what to do to maintain and protect it.

An IP audit may contain documents, surveys, interviews and searches of public registers for patents, trade marks, designs and any infringement notices.

Make sure you involve someone with knowledge in IP law, and someone from within your business who knows the details of your IP.

Understand infringement and take legal action

As the owner of IP, it’s your responsibility to ensure you enforce them. Effective enforcement should be part of your IP strategy so you know how you will take action if someone does infringe on your IP.

You have a variety of resolution methods and actions you can take to prevent infringement, starting from low cost mediation and arbitration services to using the court system.

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