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IP protection strategies

By John Rule.

Whether you are setting up your company now, or you have been trading for years, Having an IP audit conducted that considers whether the IP assets of your business are adequately protected can be very valuable.

Conducting a review of your business's IP protection strategy may highlight any gaps in your business' IP portfolio, and may highlight any opportunities where additional IP protection could be obtained. Additionally, a review of your business' current commercial needs and a comparison with your current IP portfolio and on-going protection strategy, may uncover redundant IP that is being maintained needlessly. Furthermore, a review may illustrate areas where the action that your business is currently taking to protect its IP assets could be improved.

Each company's IP strategy needs to be tailored to suit the individual company. A good IP strategy may include a periodic review in which products and services that are currently offered and the territories in which they are offered are identified. Consideration is then given to the IP protection that is already in place (including patents and applications, design registrations, trade mark registrations and so on) in each of the territorial markets (remembering most IPRs are jurisdictional rights). The aim of this aspect of the strategy is to ensure that appropriate IP protection is in place. Any gaps in the IP protection existing for current offerings can then be plugged.

A good IP protection strategy needs to include a process by which new ideas, new inventions and products and services under development are identified and documented (often called “IP harvesting”). Consideration then needs to be given to commercial markets for these ideas and new products and the names and marketing methods to be used to sell them. Then a check of existing IP can be carried out and consideration given to obtaining additional IP protection.

An IP strategy may beneficially include a review of the IP portfolio, particularly registered rights and license agreements with a view to determining whether the IPR is still required or is redundant.

Advantages to regularly reviewing your IP portfolio and IP protection strategy may include:

  • Increasing the value of your IP assets.
  • Saving costs.
  • Minimising risks.
  • Taking full advantage of opportunities to protect your business' IP now and as the business expands.
  • Generating a return on the IP investment your business has made.

Coulson & Rule offers advice about creating an IP strategy or can review an existing IP strategy and advice on how it could be improved. Contact us at for further information.  

This news item may contain information of general interest about current legal issues, but does not contain legal advice.