In a piece aimed at small businesses and independent developers in Ireland, Irish Times contributor Olive Keogh detailed the steps necessary to secure intellectual property rights whether a business received a trademark, patent or copyright.
Keogh also advises people to proceed with caution when applying for a patent or other form of IP. In the earliest stages of a business, it's unlikely IP will be an issue, so developing a sound infrastructure for the company should be priority No. 1, she said. Obviously, for companies based solely around the development of a new product, a patent is more important.
However, as soon as a business begins to take shape, applying for a patent is critical. Additionally, developing the business model around the intellectual property's lifecyle will help prepare for its expiration, Keogh said. Patents are awarded for a fixed amount of time, and ensuring proper preparations are in place when they expire is crucial to a business continuing its success.
Protecting IP can be a difficult road for many small companies and independent developers to navigate. While pursuing a patent or trademark too soon can lead to early financial difficulties, failing to do so can be equally harmful. According to a new report, 28 percent of survey respondents found that they opted against pursuing an idea only to see a company develop the same product after the fact.