The recent case-law from the General Court and the Court of Justice demonstrates that 3D marks that represent the shape...
Introduction to the world of intellectual property. What does it protect, how does it protect and why. And finally, some practical benefits from the proper management and use of the intellectual property.
Intellectual property is the tool we use to increase the quality knowledge in society
Thinking is work. The creation of an innovative solution or original work requires much more resources than its copying or use afterwards. Knowledge that is kept secret brings more value to its proprietor, whereas the shared knowledge brings more value to society. Those conflicting interests require legal fix that establishes balance.
The intellectual property is the tool that is meant to guarantee fair compensation and incentives for artists, inventors, manufacturers, who invest own resources in the creation of quality knowledge that they share with the world.
Naturally, what is fair is not a straightforward notion and depends on the circumstances, as well as the perspective. However, the intellectual property system is constantly looking for this state of balance between the private and the public interest.
Although not perfect and in need of constant update, the system could be effectively used by all participants.
The timely identification, proper protection and good management reduce a lot of risks, enhance the value of the business and could secure better funding. On the contrary, when the intellectual property is underestimated, it could lead to loss of competitive advantage, various problems and missed opportunities.
What does the intellectual property protect?
In reality, behind the term intellectual property lies one of the most important assets of every business. Patents, copyrights, trademarks, designs and trade secrets are in fact the forms in which certain intellectual product is protected. Know-how, innovative solution or useful information can be protected by either patents or kept as trade secret. The message to partners and customer in the form of slogans, campaigns and other forms of communication, as far as they are original, are subject to copyright protection. The reputation that a brand builds is linked to a particular name or logo, by which the products of one undertaking are distinguished by the product of the other undertakings. Brands are protected by trademarks, and the appearance of the product as designs. Know-how, message, innovations and reputation are the core of every business.
Practitioners continuously point out the avoidance of the topic and the decision “not to deal” with intellectual property often leads to loss of competitive advantage and various risks. The good intellectual property strategy is not just an expense in the sense of an insurance for future problems. It should also be views as an opportunity for growth. That is why, we would like to focus not on the risks, but on the practical benefits of the proper intellectual property policy and protection:
Trademarks guarantee a monopoly over the use of a name or other distinguishing sign for the products of one particular undertaking. In time, such a use decreases the expense for advertising, allows the consumers to recognize it and associate it with the built reputation;
Source of financing
Trademarks, patents and designs with valid registrations could be used for securing loans and other forms of funding. For start-ups the intellectual property is an important factor for the risk valuation and therefore for the chances for receiving good financing. This is especially vital for those companies, where the core of the business is an innovative technology or idea.
When properly protected, the intellectual assets enhance the market value of the entire business. That is useful when a business is being valued for the purpose of sale, merger, acquisition, dissolution, application for a loan or other type of financing, public trading, etc.
Most of the big social media platforms, as well as the most popular sites for e-commerce, have policies for the protection of the intellectual property, especially for those that have registered document. In addition, those platforms continuously improve their procedures for taking down infringing content;
Disputes over domain name
When a domain consists of or includes a registred trademark, the owner of that trademark could use it to blocking or take the domain in question. Register.bg, the organization, to which has been delegated the management of the country code top-level domain .bg, offers a precedure for arbitration. WIPO, as well as other authorised providors, offer effective and fast procedures for arbitration of such cases.
Safety and freedom to operate
Even if you have no intention to seek pretection against infringements of your rights, or have an aggressive intellectual property policiy to ensure monopoly positions on the market, you may still benefit from the use protected intellectual property. The due diligence, as well as the proper protection of the most relevant intellectual assets provide you safety and freedom to operate without the risk of conflicts or claims from third parties.
We are always at your disposal if you have additional questions in relation to the contents, as well as any other query you might have regarding intellectual property.