One of the most valuable assets of a New Jersey business can be its intellectual property. When it is managed properly, intellectual property can help businesses owners be competitive and profitable in their industry.
Companies should have an IP management plan. However, many business owners are unaware of what intellectual property is or what type their organizations owns There is also an increase in IP infringement lawsuits in the United States and around the world. The claims are not usually covered by insurance and litigation concerning IP can be costly. The lack of an IP management plan can result in a business losing its IP rights and the revenue associated with them.
Being aware of which of the four different categories of intellectual property a company's IP belongs is the first step in efficient management of the asset. A patent provides protections for discoveries and inventions. Trademarks guard the unique branding of a company. Trade secrets protect a company's business secrets, such as secret recipes or formulas. Copyrights protect creative works, including graphic designs, publications or source code.
An effective tracking system for a company's IP is also necessary. This can be accomplished by maintaining records that detail who created the IP and when. Patents and trademarks can registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This can provide some degree of protection in the event of an infringement by another party.
The intellectual property of a company should be treated like any other asset that it owns. When it has been misappropriated by another party, the owner may want to meet with an attorney who has experience with intellectual property litigation in order to see what recourse may be available.