Karen Milde, Reframe Marketing, Vancouver, BC, CYBF Mentor
Getting IP rights in the form of patents, trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs, integrated circuit topographies or plant breeders can be a long, exhaustive, and expensive process for a small-medium sized business. Thus, a careful cost/benefit analysis should be done prior to proceeding with this type of registration.
Some major things to consider in the process are as follows:
- Look into whether or not you need IP right worldwide or just in specific countries. If you choose to go the latter, it can be less expensive;
- Make sure you are applying for the correct type of IP right because if you are not, you could be getting involved in a painful and drawn-out process. Don’t be afraid to go out and ask for some advice here;
- Carefully read the rules on your IP right as many have expiry dates and you would not want to lose out on it because of an administrative oversight;
- If you do run into copyright infringement, evaluate whether it is necessary to go into litigation or perhaps you can come to an agreement with the other party on some kind of licensing right.
If you do decide to apply for IP rights, do not get caught up in all the paperwork details, it’s only one aspect of growing your business.