Intellectual property is typically the catalyst for all innovation in this world. Every single thing humanity has that is beneficial to society started as an idea someone had. This idea is your “spark of genius,” according to legal terminology. From there, as it grows into something tangible, it becomes your intellectual property, commonly referred to as IP. Whether it’s written down, coded as software, stored in your garage, or anything else, it counts as intellectual property, and it’s up to you to protect it. To protect this IP, a lot of people turn to investigations. Here are some of the ways that an intellectual property investigation can help protect you.
Discovering Nefarious Use
You have to understand, first and foremost, that getting a trademark on your IP doesn’t protect you from theft per se. It just gives you an avenue to reclaim your IP once the theft is discovered. It’s easy enough to apply for a trademark or a patent, and it’s highly recommended that you do so. However, even if you do, how do you know that someone isn’t out there defying your legal rights and using your IP anyway? An investigation into your IP can help determine if anyone has stolen your property and is profiting off of it. You might not even know without such an investigation, and this could end up knocking you out of the market.
Tracking Down Web-Based Material
A huge part of the global economy today takes place via cyberspace, and there are all sorts of individuals and businesses that turn to the Internet to push their IP. They can do this through unique websites that count as IP, different software packages, eBooks, and much more. Though just like the issue with trademarks, you might not even know if someone is using your IP. Or, if you do find out someone is using your property, how do you go about stopping them from doing so and reclaiming your property? This is where an IP investigation can help out in a big way. They can track down people using your proprietary site elements, software, etc, and make sure that the theft stops while you pursue additional action(s).
Evaluate Your IP
Another way that investigations into your IP can help you is to evaluate what you have going on in the business. The issue here is that there are over 7 billion people on this planet. Are you sure that your idea is so original that no one else has ever thought to use it? There could be a case where what you believe to be your IP is far too similar to someone else’s IP, and in this instance, you would become the thief. Not on purpose, of course; it’s not as if you set out to steal someone’s idea to monetize it. However, if such an idea already exists out there, you could get in serious trouble if you went through and monetized and created a business around it. Intellectual property investigations can survey and evaluate the field for you, helping you to avoid those potential issues.
Tracking Unauthorized Usage
In many cases, someone can be using your IP but not in a nefarious context. Perhaps they don’t know that they’re breaking the law, or even that you have a trademark or patent on the item. Basically, they’re ignorant of the idea of theft, yet they’re still potentially taking money out of your pocket, and this could even lead to that party developing on your IP and shutting you out completely. Like the other examples, how would you even know this was happening without an investigation? It could be something like someone using your song/music without your knowledge, or perhaps even using your software to profit. It doesn’t have to be purposeful theft; unauthorized use is not legally allowed and must stop. Regardless of the situation, this can negatively impact your personal finances.
The basic idea here is that you need to protect your intellectual property because no one is going to do it for you. You have to reach out and hire a solid company to conduct an investigation. Don’t wait until your IP is stolen, have an IP investigation done to protect you and your brand.