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How to look after your IP

Intellectual property is an essential asset to your business, yet it’s widely misunderstood. Mark Blayney Stuart finds out how SMEs can capitalise on it

What counts as your intellectual property (IP) may surprise you - and protecting it is often not as expensive as you might think. So, what is the story for SMEs, and are there areas where you could be making your IP work harder for you?

"Many companies, especially smaller ones, don’t usually think of protecting their designs and trade marks," says Gifty Gakpetor, a chartered trade mark attorney and director of IPTogether. "Either they don't really understand the whole concept of IP and the wealth it creates for them or it’s a matter of perceived cost - not thinking about the value of long-term investment in protection."

Actually, Gakpetor explains that while patents can be very expensive, the costs are not that significant when it comes to trade marks and designs – and it is these latter two that most small companies are going to want to protect.

Now would be a good time to look at some definitions in order to ensure we know exactly what we are talking about when we discuss IP.

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 280, December 2019/January 2020.

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