For some businesses, protecting intellectual property may not be a high priority. Some reasons owners do not prioritize their IP strategy are because they think it is unnecessary or too expensive.
However, this oversight can disrupt an organization in more ways than employers may realize.
Costing the business money
Failing to prioritize IP protection can take a tremendous financial toll on a business. Potential economic issues could include:
- Damages and fines associated with infringement
- Lost profits
- Costs to redesign, repackage or revise products or services
- Decreased value of proprietary information
- Legal expenses to resolve legal disputes
- Forfeited revenue from potential licensing partners
These financial issues could be costly. However, they can be avoidable when owners take their IP strategy seriously.
Distracting employees and leadership
It is also possible that IP conflicts, disputes and oversights could be highly distracting. For instance, employees may be worried about job security and pay cuts when a business is losing money or involved in a legal dispute.
Additionally, managers and employers may need to turn their attention from their roles in running a business and toward resolving IP matters. Further, they can be distracted by a business’s loss of position in the market and what their competitors are doing.
Diverting resources away from the business
IP conflicts can also divert resources away from the business itself. Instead of investing in areas like research and marketing, business leaders can wind up funneling time and money into legal disputes over copyrights, trademarks or patents.
And responding to disputes or fixing gaps in IP strategies could take more time, money and staffing than anticipating challenges and developing a plan in the first place.
Considering all the ways that IP issues can impact a business, it can be easier to prioritize intellectual property protection early on.
Business owners who do this by creating a comprehensive IP strategy can be well-equipped to keep their intangible assets safe and maximize the commercial value of their IP.