In today’s world, Intellectual Property (IP) has become a significant issue for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Intellectual Property refers to the intangible assets that a business owns, such as inventions, trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. These assets can be an essential factor in the success of SMEs. However, many SMEs do not realize the value of their intellectual property or know how to protect it. In this article, we will discuss what SMEs should know about Intellectual Property.
What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual Property refers to the creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, and symbols used in commerce. Intellectual Property is divided into two categories: Industrial Property and Copyright.
Industrial Property includes patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of origin. Copyright, on the other hand, refers to literary and artistic works, such as novels, poems, plays, films, music, and artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs, and sculptures.
Why is Intellectual Property important for SMEs?
Intellectual Property is essential for SMEs for several reasons:
Protection of Innovation: SMEs often rely on innovation to develop new products, processes, or services. Intellectual Property protection ensures that these innovations are protected from competitors who may copy or steal them.
Competitive Advantage: Intellectual Property provides SMEs with a competitive advantage in the market. Intellectual Property protection prevents competitors from using similar or identical branding or products, which can reduce the value of the SME’s brand.
Attract Investment: Intellectual Property is a valuable asset that can be used to attract investors. Investors are more likely to invest in SMEs that have a strong Intellectual Property portfolio.
Increase Revenue: Intellectual Property protection allows SMEs to license or sell their intellectual property, which can increase revenue.
What are the different types of Intellectual Property?
The different types of Intellectual Property are:
Patents: Patents protect inventions and are granted for a limited period. In return for the exclusive right to use the invention, the inventor must disclose the invention in detail so that others can benefit from it after the patent expires.
Trademarks: Trademarks are used to identify and distinguish goods or services. A trademark can be a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination of these elements. A trademark must be distinctive and not similar to another trademark.
Copyright: Copyright protects original works of authorship, such as books, music, software, and artwork. Copyright grants the owner the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and display the work.
Trade Secrets: Trade secrets are confidential information that gives an enterprise a competitive advantage. Trade secrets can include formulas, processes, designs, or other confidential information.
What should SMEs do to protect their Intellectual Property?
SMEs can protect their Intellectual Property by taking the following steps:
Create: SME’s should create their Intellectual Property objects.
Identify and Protect Intellectual Property: Once the enterprise has identified its Intellectual Property, it must take steps to protect it. This may include filing for patents, trademarks, or copyrights.
Create and Enforce Contracts: SMEs should create and enforce contracts with employees, contractors, and business partners to protect their Intellectual Property.
Monitor and Enforce Intellectual Property: SMEs should monitor the marketplace for any unauthorized use of their Intellectual Property and take legal action to enforce their rights.
In conclusion, Intellectual Property is a critical issue for SMEs. SMEs must understand the value of their Intellectual Property and take the necessary steps to protect it. Filing for patents, trademarks, and copyrights, creating and enforcing contracts, monitoring and enforcing Intellectual Property, and educating employees are essential steps for protecting Intellectual Property. By taking these steps, SMEs can gain a competitive advantage, increase revenue, and attract investment. In today’s competitive business environment, protecting Intellectual Property is essential for the success of SMEs.
“LAWSUIT” LLC’s team can help you with your Intellectual Property registration, protection and can help you fight against your Intellectual Property’s anauthorized use. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you establish and protect your IP rights in Armenia.
Author: Michelle Galstyan /Junior Lawyer