Blog: Maximizing the value of your business
Businesses can maximize value through their IP
Cherie Semper is a Business Growth Support Broker at Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub, before joining the team, Cherie worked with a wide range of companies from multinationals, SMEs and third sector firms.
In this blog, Cherie highlights how businesses can maximise the value of their intellectual property.
Business owners and entrepreneurs work hard to develop and commercialize their ideas. Once the ideas are commercialized then comes the challenges of growing the business. Early action to protect the intellectual property assets in the business is key to ensuring the ideas, know-how and expertise are protected and are not at risk of copying or mimicking by a competitor, thereby eroding the value of your business.
What are intellectual property assets?
These are intangible assets within the business such as know-how, new ideas, new inventions, new designs unique to the business. There are 4 types of intellectual property:
- Trademark – to protect the company name or brand
- Patent – to protect unique machinery or new inventions
- Copyright – to protect written, musical, art works, etc
- Design registration – to protect a unique design so it cannot be copied
Often businesses don’t think they have any IP assets or perhaps don’t have time to consider the IP assets in their business. However these assets can easily be identified using a free IP auditing profiling tool. Once identified the business owner can decide how best to protect the assets. Support and advice is available for small businesses to assist in this process via the Intellectual Property Office.
Why is it important to protect IP assets?
All businesses irrespective of size or market should review the IP assets in the business, take action to protect them and to review their approach to protection regularly. This process is to:
- Protect your competitive advantage by ensuring the business IP assets are protected from copying or mimicking by competitors.
- Protecting your IP assets which may increase the value of your business to potential investors should you wish to raise finance or perhaps exit the business in the future – thereby maximizing the value of the business.
- Enable the business to maximize potential income from your IP assets by offering third parties the opportunity to licence your products and sell them in another location perhaps or enabling collaboration with other distributors who may wish to stock your products for sale.
Again there are free tools available from the Intellectual Property Office to assist you in valuing your IP assets once you have identified them. Should any business wish support and advice relating to identifying your businesses IP assets and how to take action to protect them, local advice is also available from the Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub.
Maximize the value of your business by reviewing your IP assets and deciding how you intend to protect these going forward.