What is IP?
Intellectual property is an output of innovation and new creations. The development of intellectual property assets is crucial to the innovation. They include intangible creations of human intellect which World Intellectual Property Organization formally defines it as the creation of mind – inventions, literary, artistic works, designs, symbols, names, images, scent, colour, and packaging used in commerce. IP rights will protect your original creation in a certain period of time and let you enjoy exclusively as a dominator in the entire industry.
How does IP benefit you?
IP rights guarantee not only protection but serve as a means to secure it as a business asset. It also enhances commercial success for small, medium and large enterprises on their business market value. The owner certainly has the chance to monetize their IP’s exclusivity through profit-making assets such as providing IP license without having to sell their IP. IP rights will certainly be good promotional material support to access or raise finance for the business as its uniqueness is one in a kind to be remembered. Being entitled to the only product that ever existed stands the IP owner a chance to expand their business internationally through exportation.
Some businesses don’t sell the actual products but instead, they generate the revenue by charging a certain amount of fee through IP Licensing, Franchising, Joint Venture, IP Sale, And Tech Transfer. This is another way to maximize or monetize your IP rights.
Different Types of Intellectual Property
The types of intellectual property indicate their own uniqueness and the protection it offers in legal protection which includes intangible assets :
- Trademark (brand logos, words, slogans, jingles, and even modes of packaging goods)
A Trademark is a brand image of a business that is capable of distinguishing the goods and services of a business from its competitors in the same trade. Once a Trademark is registered, the owner will obtain an “EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS” and it is renewable every ten years.
Type of Trademarks : Word Marks, Device/Figurative Mark & Combined Marks, Certification Marks, Collective Marks, Well-Known Marks, Colour Marks, Sound Marks, Scent Marks, Shape Marks, & Series Marks.
Registrability of Trademarks : The strongest type of trademark is an invented mark such as “KODAK”, followed by an arbitrary mark such as “APPLE”, suggestive mark such as “PLAYBOY” and the weakest type of mark will be a descriptive mark such as “THE BODY SHOP”.
Elements that cannot be registered : Some of the notable restrictions are the marks that are substantially similar to a registered mark, contain immoral or scandalous words or symbols, well-known marks, as well as marks that contain images or elements that resemble national emblem, official signs or hallmarks, flags, and country names.
- Patent (technical inventions)
A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
Types of Patents : Product Patent, Process Patent, Product and Process Patent & New Use Patent Patentable criteria : Novel/New (Worldwide), Involves an inventive step & industrially applicable Non-patentable invention :
- A scientific or mathematical discovery, theory or method.
- A literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work.
- A way of performing a mental act, playing games or doing business.
- The presentation of information, or some computer programs.
- An animal or plant variety.
- A method of medical treatment or diagnosis.
- Against public policy or morality.
- Industrial Design (industrial designs for products)
An industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. The design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape or surface of an article, or of two-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or colour. Industrial design must be new or original and non-functional.
Industrial Design Criteria :
- Design must be applied to an article
- New (novelty)
- Industrial applicable applied by an industrial process
- Features of design must appeal to and are judged by the eye
- Copyright (written materials, drawings, computer code) Copyright is a legal term over the literary and artistic works.
Examples : Books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps & technical drawings.
Period of Registration : Copyright subsists during the life of the creator and continues 50 years after his/her death.
- Geographical indications (Indicate geographical origin)
Geographical indications (GI) symbol is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
Period of registration : A registered geographical indication is protected for ten years from the date of filing and is renewable for every ten years as long as it is still in use.
- Trade Secrets (methods of doing something only known to select individuals) Trade Secrets are IP rights on confidential information which may be sold or licensed.
Period of registration : Trade secrets do not expire so long as the protected information remains secret and continues to be valuable to the trade secret owner.
PVP is an exclusive right granted to breeders of new varieties to exploit their varieties. Benefits :
- Producing or reproducing
- Conditioning for the purpose of propagation
- Offering sales
- Marketing, inclusive of selling
- Exporting and importing
- Stocking the material for the purposes mentioned above
Term of protection renewal :
- 25 years : for trees, vines and perennial plants
- 20 years : for a registered plant variety if it is new, distinct, uniform and stable.
- 15 years : for a registered plant variety if it is new, distinct and identifiable.
IP valuation helps to determine not only the fair market value of the IP, but the true value of the business as a whole. Because IP often represents the most valuable assets a business possesses, calculating an accurate valuation of the business depends on accurately valuing its intellectual property.
There are 4 intangible moats including:
- Brand equity – Strong brand recognition and customer loyalty
- Human capital – Highly skilled, aligned and motivated workplace
- Intellectual property – Proprietary knowledge or know-how, patents, technology and data
- Network effects – engaged ecosystem of external producers and consumers.
Maximizing Profit Through IP
- IP sale : Also known as an outright sale in which you may sell your IP to someone else.
- IP License & Franchise : Apart from selling your IP, you may also grant a license to someone to sell your product under their own brand name. While franchising is a type of license that grants franchisee access to a franchisor’s proprietary business knowledge, processes, and Trademarks, thus allowing the franchisee to sell a product or service under the franchisor’s business name.
- Join venture : For co-development partnerships and shared benefit as this type of strategy drives towards a common goal, while distributing risk and combining resources.
- Technology transfer : This is typically done in two ways: through licensing patented intellectual property to corporations and the creation of start-up companies, which also often license the IP created by faculty.
Overall, leveraging intellectual property assets to generate alternatives sources of revenue may strengthen a company’s overall profit but bear in mind that it may also diversify risk. With an eye on the overarching IP strategy, we may help you to navigate a solid understanding of the current environment and mitigate the involved risks. If you would like to discuss options for monetizing or registering your intellectual property, we are here to guide you.
This article is brought to you by Exy Intellectual Property Sdn Bhd.