As part of WIPO’s on-going effort to strengthen its program of support for the business sector, WIPO is launching in collaboration with the International Trade Center and the International Chamber of Commerce its newest online resource, WIPO IP Diagnostics, at a virtual event to be held on November 9, 2021. WIPO IP Diagnostics is a free, comprehensive self-assessment tool designed to help small businesses identify their IP assets and determine how to protect, manage and leverage these assets to unlock new commercial opportunities. Registration for the event is open. Code: KBT543EDS8.
Read and interact with these IP for Business stories and learn how entrepreneurs and businesses use intellectual property to enrich their innovations and creativity.
Understanding the benefits of IP
Defending your competitive space
Your innovative product/process or improved product/process can be protected by a patent right that can give your business a competitive advantage. The right to exclude others provided through patent protection allows you to fend off competition, assume a lead and secure market position.
Understanding how to protect trade secrets is also key to defending your competitive space. Specific product details, technological know-how and strategic business information are often key to the success of a business, allowing it to maintain its edge over the competition. Theft or accidental disclosure of trade secrets can deprive a business of these important advantages.
Visibility in crowded markets
Trademarks allow customers to distinguish your products/services from those of your competitors and serve as a guarantee of consistent quality. Great care should be taken in choosing and designing your trademark, protecting it, using it in advertising and policing its misleading/improper use by others.
The aesthetic aspect of your product, protected by an industrial design right, is another means by which you can distinguish yourself from the competition and gain market share. A visually attractive design alone can attract a demanding and diversified clientele and could constitute your product’s single most important distinguishing factor.
Do you own a hotel or restaurant, run a rental car business, manage a travel agency or any other business that provides services to tourists? Find out how the IP system may be able to help you.
Identifying, protecting and managing your IP
Keep in mind that a single product can be protected by various forms of IP rights. Together, these IP rights protect your innovation and nurture your brand. They are an important tool for maintaining and strengthening your competitive edge and expanding your market share.
Auditing your IP assets
An important first step in managing IP assets is to conduct an IP audit to understand what potential IP exists in the company.
It is important to understand the economic value of your IP assets by carrying out an IP valuation. Having an idea of how much your assets may be worth will be helpful for various transactions including licensing, sale, donation of IP rights or entering into joint ventures and other collaborative arrangements.
IP rights are only available in the country/region in which they are granted. Before expanding your business abroad, obtain the necessary rights to ensure that you maintain your competitive advantage in foreign markets.