Intellectual Property Facts
- The role of IP
- Who owns my ideas or intangible creations?
- Managing knowledge and innovation
- IP Facts
- The time and costs of obtaining IP protection vary
- Defending IP rights in court is not always necessary
- An idea can be sold "as is"
The time and costs of obtaining IP protection vary
The time and costs depends on the type of IP, whether or not you get professional help, and the complexity of each case. It takes less time and money to obtain copyright or trade-mark registration than patent protection. It is generally longer and more costly to obtain patent protection, and the reason is simple. It is in the patent applicant's interest that the patent examination is thorough and that a strong patent will be issued. The time and price paid for obtaining and maintaining the patent rights make good sense when compared to their potential benefits for the owner. It is always good practice to minimize the cost of IP protection by seeking protection only in those markets where the benefits of enforcing the IP rights are greater, the use of IP rights as marketing instruments is important, or where there is a good potential demand for licences or assignments.
Defending IP rights in court is not always necessary
In many cases, only warning IP infringers that they may face the consequences of being sued may suffice. Another option is to license your IP rights instead of spending so much time and money pursuing the litigation. In the licensing option, the SME selling the IP licence — the licensor — may use the licensing revenues to further invent or create, and thus enhance its competitive advantage. There is also the option of selling all or part of the IP rights to someone better positioned to use them alone or in partnership with the initial IP owner. Defending your IP rights can be very rewarding in many cases. Time and costs, although, make this a labour intensive and complicated legal process requiring the work of highly-qualified people.
An idea can be sold "as is"
Given the initial difficulty of establishing the potential market value and ownership of an idea, it may be quite difficult to interest a buyer who will offer the right price for your idea "as is." The creator/seller could apply for IP protection (e.g. patents, industrial designs) so that the buyer will feel more secure that ownership could lead to potential market value.