Getting the Best out of Intellectual Property Protection
To make sure that your marketing program gets the best out of your IP rights, the following points are worth considering:
- Register or seek protection of your IP assets at the earliest in order to take full advantage of your IP rights while undertaking advertising and other promotional activities.
- Check carefully to make sure that your SME does not infringe the IP rights of others. In this respect, it is advisable to conduct trademarks and patent searches before commercializing products and services which may conflict with the IP rights protected by other persons or enterprises.
- Use, or make reference to, your IP rights in your advertisements and other promotional activities in order to make your customers and potential customers aware of the IP protection of your products and services.
- Monitor the market and be ready to contact an IP lawyer or an official enforcement authority wherever you detect infringement of your IP rights that may be damaging your SME's profits or reputation (see "What Should Your SME do to Resolve Disputes Related to Intellectual Property?"). IP rights in fact allow you to fight unauthorized copying, imitation and other kinds of infringement. National legislation or case law may also provide protection against unfair competition, such as false allegations aimed at discrediting your products or services, allegations aimed at misleading the public as to the characteristics of your products and services and acts which aim at creating confusion with your products and services.