Is yours a new business or a small to medium-sized entity? Regardless of your company’s product or service, the essential characteristics at the heart of your business can be protected, to create and defend a competitive edge.
Intellectual property (IP) is relevant to almost every aspect of a business, whatever its size. This is why we recommend that you take steps to protect, manage and enforce your IP – whether it’s a trade name, trade mark, slogan, logo, domain name, valuable confidential business information, creative original design, computer program, artistic or literary work, or invention.
Now we understand that a small business may not always be in a position to acquire registered IP rights, like patents or registered trade marks. But you could benefit from managing unregistered IP rights – like copyright, rights in confidential information (through confidentiality and non-use agreements with recipients), and common law trade mark rights.
Even where you don’t have any registered rights, you may still be entitled to prevent others from riding on the back of your reputation, copying your materials, or otherwise competing unlawfully with you.
In the early stages of establishing your start-up, it is important to ensure that all IP created for you by others is owned by your business. So when instructing another person to design your logo, write your software or perform some other task from which IP is expected to result, we recommend that you take assignment of this IP.
In addition to SMME Support, at Spoor & Fisher, we can assist you with:
- IP ownership and assignment
- Supply and distribution arrangements
- Confidentiality, privacy and access to personal information
- Licensing, including franchising
- Exchange control compliance