Businesses go to great lengths in the name of security. They lock their offices when they leave for the day. Valuable equipment and sensitive documents are kept under lock and key. But are you leaving your most valuable assets unprotected?
Intangible assets are the lifeblood of a business. Having a strong foundation of creative ideas upon which your company is based allows you and your employees to build upon them to achieve your goals and grow a successful business. Yet every day there are stories of companies caught in litigation over ownership of ideas and patents. Why are so many companies failing to take the necessary steps to keep the future of their business protected?
The truth is that companies don’t see the importance of protecting intangible assets until it’s too late. Many decide against spending time and resources on intellectual property (IP) protection in favor of addressing immediate concerns in their business. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with using resources for things like marketing, infrastructure, or new hires. But completely foregoing an IP strategy is more often than not a costly mistake.
For startups, intangible assets are 90% of the company’s value. It takes time to acquire inventory and equipment and offices and all the things that denote your arrival as a real business to the rest of the world. But regardless of the buildings and machines that you acquire, it is your ideas that are the bedrock of your company. It is ideas that are the genesis of any business, and ideas that allow companies to grow and prosper. It’s your ideas that set you apart from your competitors, your unique way of doing something or building something, and it is that distinctiveness that needs to be protected.
It may not be the most exciting thing that you'll do, but devote some of your admittedly precious time and resources to develop an IP strategy. Having your intangible assets taken care of going forward will allow you to do the things that you want to with your business without having to worry about not owning the ideas you've created.