IP is expensive to enforce, so why bother?

If you follow my blogs, you’ll have heard me say that your intellectual property rights allow you to stop others from copying your innovation and muscling in on your market share. BUT, if someone does copy you, you have to take action to stop them. You might think that enforcing your IP rights always has to involve lengthy, unpredictable and expensive court proceedings, and it might, but that would usually be a las resort, rather than a first step. So, if you’re thinking, IP is expensive to enforce, so why bother? Read on…

IP is expensive to enforce, so why bother?

There are a number of avenues that can be followed if someone infringes your IP rights, without having to issue court proceedings.

Pre-court correspondence

It is worth remembering that part of the value in your IP rights is their deterrent effect and you’ll never know how many potential competitors have been deterred from copying you for fear of the legal repercussions. However, if someone does copy you, the matter can, more often than not, be settled by correspondence, without ever needing to go anywhere near a court room.

Customs Registration

On top of that, there are the customs registration facilities available in many countries around the world, whereby you can get the customs officials of a particular country to stop shipments of infringing products at their border. This can be a really powerful way of stopping infringing products at their source and providing a huge incentive to settle the matter swiftly. You can read more about this in our earlier blog.

Third Party E-commerce Platforms

Let’s not forget that many third party e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, have the facility to allow you to apply to remove infringing products from their platform if they infringe your IP rights. This doesn’t usually cost you anything, except a little of your time.

And finally…

Patent Box tax concessions can offset (at least) some of the costs associated with your IP, and owning IP rights adds value to your company and can even help you to secure funding and investment.

So, all in all, owning IP rights and protecting your business properly has benefits that far outweigh the potential negatives. Don’t be put off by the fear of the cost of enforcing them because it doesn’t have to cost the earth and, if you’re still concerned, you can consider IP insurance to give you further peace of mind.

Need help?

If you need help with any intellectual property matter, please book a free initial consultation by emailing vicki.strachan@strachanip.co.uk or visit our website at https://strachanip.co.uk/contact/

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