8th April 2021

The Biggest IP Mistake all Businesses Make and How to Fix it

By Stephen Farrant

Listen to this article on Hamlins Legal Secrets.

Businesses create all sorts of new IP rights as they develop their brand, design, and launch new products. The biggest mistake we see by far is businesses not keeping good records of these IP rights.

So the question is why should you be keeping IP records?

Although at the time of creating the product or developing your brand it may not seem important; keeping good records will save you time and cost in the future. When it comes to needing to protect your IP rights, or your brand – taking these measures will be the best time you’ve ever spent! If you are interested in saving yourself time and money, read below for two specific ways that can keep you on top of your IP records.

Keep clear, comprehensive documentation

Firstly, from an early stage, businesses must keep clear, comprehensive documentation about the creation of any brands or products. If you fail to do this, the overall security of your IP assets will be weakened and it will leave you vulnerable to various kinds of infringing activity. Therefore, to action this, you should pull together and collate all documentation, which provides accurate details about the creation of your IP. This includes information such as:

  • The creator or author’s name and signature
  • Any witness evidence – particularly for products is going to involve plans, drawings, blueprints, test results, etc.
  • Clear records of third parties and their involvement in the creation or development of your IP

In addition to this, a bonus tip for those working on products which are yet to be released, it is crucial to work with experts to develop marketing and sales strategies for handling the disclosure of IP to the public. This is because revealing the IP to the public too early or without adequate documentation could result in the loss of your exclusive rights over this valuable IP.

Create and maintain a comprehensive portfolio of your IP

The second thing to do is to make sure you’re on top of your IP records is to create and maintain a comprehensive portfolio of your IP. This should list out all of the IP rights belonging to the company. Then for each IP rights, set out information such as:

  • What is the IP status – is it registered or unregistered?
  • Who is the creator or the author of the IP?
  • Do you have any copies of confidentiality agreements? and
  • Any other agreements with third parties, this could be:
    • Developers
    • Licensees
    • Employees
    • Suppliers
    • Retailers, etc.

In addition to being a commercially sensible practice, a well-maintained IP portfolio can help combat any infringing activity or other issues which may arise with your brand by allowing us to catch and identify this activity at an early stage, which is just another way this can save your business a lot of time and money.

You now have two choices:

  • You can either do nothing…
  • Or you can go and protect your IP

The methods mentioned above allow you to go away and start this process yourself – however, if you are unable to spend the time and effort on this, we can get this sorted for you. Contact Stephen Farrant if you would like our help.

The Biggest IP Mistake all Businesses Make and How to Fix it

Have a question? Contact Stephen

Associated services

Have a question? Contact Stephen

Associated services



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