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How to protect your business’s intellectual property

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Protecting what makes you special is important

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How to protect intellectual property - image of a lighthouse and a wave crashing against it

Photo by Alfred Leung on Unsplash

Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry




Intellectual property (IP) is a critical asset for any business, large or small. It includes creations of the mind such as inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. Protecting your business's IP is essential for ensuring its success and longevity.

There are several steps businesses can take to protect their IP. The first is to conduct a thorough review of your business's IP assets.



Identifying the IP you have


This includes identifying what IP your business owns, such as trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets, and determining the value of each asset. This information will help you understand what IP is most important to your business and what steps you need to take to protect it.



Put protection in place


Once you have identified your business's IP assets, the next step is to put measures in place to protect them. This can include obtaining legal protection for your IP, such as registering trademarks and patents, and implementing internal policies and procedures to safeguard your trade secrets. It is also important to educate your employees about the importance of protecting your business's IP and provide them with the necessary training and resources to do so.

In addition to internal measures, businesses can also take steps to protect their IP externally. This can include working with IP lawyers to enforce your rights against infringers and entering into licensing and partnership agreements with other businesses to share IP and protect mutual interests.

Overall, protecting your business's IP is essential for its success and longevity. By conducting a thorough review of your IP assets, implementing internal measures to safeguard your IP, and taking steps to protect your IP externally, you can help ensure the continued success of your business.



Monitoring IP


Another important aspect of protecting your business's IP is to regularly monitor for infringement and take action if necessary. This can include conducting regular trademark searches to ensure that no one is using a similar trademark without your permission, and monitoring online platforms and marketplaces for infringing products or services. If you discover that someone is infringing on your IP rights, it is important to take action promptly. This can include sending cease and desist letters, negotiating licensing agreements, or taking legal action if necessary.



Consider IP during key business decisions


In addition to protecting your IP from external threats, it is also important to consider IP protection when making business decisions. For example, if you are considering acquiring another business, it is essential to conduct IP due diligence to ensure that you are not inheriting any IP issues. Similarly, if you are entering into a partnership or licensing agreement with another business, it is important to carefully review the terms of the agreement to ensure that your IP is adequately protected.





In conclusion, protecting your business's intellectual property is essential for its success and longevity. By conducting a thorough review of your IP assets, implementing internal measures to safeguard your IP, and taking steps to protect your IP externally, you can help ensure the continued success of your business. Regularly monitoring for infringement and considering IP protection in business decisions is also crucial for protecting your IP rights.

Need help with protecting your IP? Get in touch with our team by clicking the link below.


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Look at our other guides that relate to this topic here.

What you need to know about intellectual property solicitors

Why you should care about protecting your intellectual property

Why do we need IP?



Virtuoso Legal is a team of intellectual property specialists based in Leeds and London - operating worldwide. Virtuoso Legal's team of IP experts have successfully tried cases in the IPEC, High Court, Court of Appeals and United Kingdom Supreme Court. In addition, the team assist companies in creating, commercialising and protecting the big ideas that make their business unique. The firm and its professionals are ranked yearly in legal directories such as the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, cementing their status as a Top 2% law firm in the world.

DISCLAIMER: The content within this post is for educational purposes only. Virtuoso Legal does not take any responsibility for those that use this information and waives any liability for any resulting effect on your personal or commercial circumstances. If you are experiencing an issue and need advice, we strongly encourage you to contact a solicitor to identify your best course of action.

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