I INNOVATE, WHAT IP RIGHTS DO I NEED TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT?
You are working on an innovation and want to market it. However you are aware of the fact that doing business is not something you do in a vacuum. It goes without saying that you will want to find out who your competitors are, how the sales channels are set up and what the prices are like. Another very important step involves gathering information about Intellectual Property rights. It determines your position in the market as well as the scope of your business.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY INNOVATION?
Innovation is one of your company's mainstays. It is essential, but costly, because the costs often come before the benefits. Fortunately you have found a gap in the market with your latest innovation. Commercial success beckons, so you want to protect your Intellectual Property. After all, your competitors are always watching you. But how do you go about successfully protecting your innovation?
I AM BEING COPIED
Let us assume that you see a product at an exhibition which is very similar to the one you make or offer. Or you come across a Chinese manufacturer online who is offering your product at a much lower price. These are just some of the ways in which manufacturers find out that their product is being copied.
I AM ACCUSED OF INFRINGING
You receive a letter from one of your competitors full of strong language and legal threats. In that letter you are accused of infringing someone's Intellectual Property rights. You are ordered to cease all your commercial activities. If you do continue your work, then that can also have some very serious consequences. Failing to respond to the letter can lead to fines or court proceedings.
HAVE I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICES?
You have developed a nice IP rights portfolio in recent years. Nevertheless you are sometimes not quite sure whether it has been put together well, or whether you are using these rights in the most efficient manner. Your competitor should absolutely not be able to pull the rug from under that one key patent, but is that patent strong enough to resist? And what about those patents you obtained ten years ago? Should you continue to hold on to those, or are they now leading to unnecessary costs?