The one reason why you cannot ignore intellectual property

by | Jun 25, 2024 | Insights | 0 comments

Regardless of your own view about intellectual property, it concerns all companies. You simply cannot decide that it’s not for you.

Even if you put your inventions out in the open, let others use your copyrighted materials, and do not object if somebody uses your brand, you still cannot avoid intellectual property altogether.

You need to respect others’ intellectual property

If you let others use your marketing materials, for which you have copyright because it arises automatically, you cannot presume to be allowed to be copyrighted materials of others. The same goes for patented inventions and registered trademarks.

Other companies have spent money in creating them, and they have exclusive rights to them. You are inevitably constrained by the intellectual property of other companies, regardless of your own views.

You will automatically generate some intellectual property

In addition, just by running your business, you generate a lot of intellectual property, mainly material that gets copyright protection. This arises regardless of whether you want copyright protection or not. Unlike almost all other types of intellectual property, copyright arises just by creating the work. No registration or other formalities are required. Even if you do not mark your works with the copyright symbol (C), you still have the copyright.

Another type of intellectual property you generate automatically is unregistered designs. If you create a design (for example, a new type of shoe or toothbrush), it gets automatic design protection for three years if the design is novel and has individual character. Further, in some countries, you generate automatic trademark rights just by using the mark.

Whether you enforce any of these rights against other companies is another matter.

What’s the minimum you should do?

The very minimum that every company should do regarding their intellectual property is to register their name as a trademark. This is important because even if you do not plan to enforce your rights against other companies, the registration safeguards you against later trademark registration by somebody else. In other words, it increases your chance of you getting to keep your name, and not having to change it because somebody else registers it.

Not protecting your intellectual property means leaving money on the table. Several studies show that intellectual property protection significantly increases the chances of outside investment, and better yet, companies with intellectual property protection get larger investments in monetary terms.

These are just some of the benefits you get from protecting your intellectual property. You can read more about other benefits here.


Whatever your views and attitudes towards intellectual property are, you cannot ignore it. At the very least, you must be cognizant of the fact that you operate in an arena that is filled with other companies’ intellectual property that you must respect. Further, not taking the proper steps to protect your intellectual property creates unnecessary risks and prevents you from fully capitalising on the value of your company.

Read more
Another study confirms the link between IP ownership and funding
5 things every company should now about EU trademarks

Free Trademark Check

Check whether you trademark is still available for registration

Related Posts