Intellectual Property Value
Intellectual Property is one of the fundamental building blocks of our economy, enshrined in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. It provides the underlying motivational basis for all innovative and inventive works, and should be an integral part of your organization’s design or creative process.To illustrate, consider your most recent successful product or creative work. How much time and resources did you devote in bringing it to fruition? Even if it came in a spectacular moment of inspiration, how many years have you spent developing your talents to enable that ability to be inspired? Yet, such valuable innovations or inventions are often collaborative developments, into which organizations invest the efforts of many individuals, both leading up to the point of inventive conception, and subsequently in producing embodiments of the creative act.
Now consider the amount of time and effort it takes to copy the work of others, which only requires a fraction of the resources involved in creating the original. If you do not protect your Intellectual Property, others can and will copy your innovations, and will bring them to market with considerably less investment. This will allow your competitors to underprice you, without having significantly invested in the product or work, and will dilute your brand equity or name recognition.
Furthermore, innovation often proceeds apace. How often have you thought of a clever new idea or solution to a problem, only to see one on the market within a few months? Chances are, if you are thinking of ways that something might be improved, someone else is thinking about the same opportunity. For that reason, and to minimize the possibility that some intervening event may jeopardize your ability to profit from your creative work or invention, it is critical that you or your organization move quickly to protect your Intellectual Property!
Finally, it is important that you be aware of the Intellectual Property of others. Again, by addressing this concern early in your creative or design process, you can often avoid potential IP headaches later on. It is often much easier to consider ways to design around the Intellectual Property of others in the beginning of the design cycle, rather than after tooling or inventory has been purchased! Fortunately, a heightened awareness of the Intellectual Property landscape that certainly surrounds your innovation can also bring you much closer to the leading edge of your field of endeavor. And that is an investment that both you and your customers will appreciate!