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IP Issues That Impact Business Design

IP Issues That Impact Business Design

As a law firm owner I regularly hear about the problems businesses experience around IP.

While their individual circumstances vary hugely, the IP mistakes they make are common and easily avoidable.

The reason these IP mistakes are widespread is that they occur very early on when new businesses or projects are initiated.

Well before people even think of consulting lawyers to protect their IP they might have compromised their IP position.

Taking early legal advice would avert this. However, people tend not to seek legal help as early as they need to, because they’re unaware of the importance of doing so.

For example, even a business that intends to devote substantial funds to IP protection will first try to establish whether its idea has merit before turning to lawyers to protect what it creates. By then it could be too late.

Even where people see the value in getting early IP advice, it isn’t always practicable to visit lawyers early on.

So, I thought long and hard about how to solve this problem and help businesses avoid losing the value inherent in their innovations.

Background to use of processes and templates

That’s how I came up with the idea of using standard processes and templates. By training team members to follow the processes a business’ IP position is automatically secured.

I experimented with these processes in my own business. Later I developed an online training course, the Legally Branded Academy, which used processes as the central approach to protecting IP, including names.

I gave access to the course to businesses for whom I had done an IP audit.

As I was helping these clients rectify defects in their IP position I suggested they use the course to learn how to introduce processes. and templates in their business to embed IP advice.

I also gave access to the course to my brand protection clients.

However, I noticed that few clients accessed the content in the course, so I abandoned that idea and instead focused on developing a handful of basic processes and templates in a PDF that was more accessible.

Why process is the answer

There’s no need for someone inside the business to understand IP laws. All that’s involved to safeguard a business’ IP position is to follow the processes in the PDF by using the templates in the prescribed circumstances.

The processes and templates do the heavy lifting of protecting a business’ IP, and dispense with the need to consult lawyers early on when initiating new projects.

And the processes themselves flag up the need to engage lawyers when the circumstances require it.

I’m now offering these processes and templates to those who enrol on the Brand Tuned program in June.

In themselves templates are easy and cheap to buy nowadays. You just have to know what templates you need for an issue you’re seeking to address.

Know-how for protecting IP

So, the value in the bonus is not so much in the templates themselves as in the know-how incorporated in them.

The know-how is the result of years of experience advising business owners and seeing the typical IP mistakes they make.

As there are just a handful of processes it’s really easy for a business to implement them and use appropriate templates when they’re in the specific situations highlighted in a given process.

International relevance

The processes are appropriate and relevant to businesses around the world. They’re not country specific as they’re based on universal IP principles that apply in advanced countries.

The actual templates are examples of wording a business might use. I’ve used them within my own business for more than 10 years.

Early stage UK businesses could use the templates as drafted. Established businesses would probably want to have them redrafted to suit their own needs.

As the templates are governed by English law they’re country specific.

That means if you’re based outside the UK you should ask lawyers in your home country to review them to ensure they suit your own country’s laws.

However, they just need tweaking to bring them in line with local requirements in your home country rather than radical redrafting. Otherwise, they’re good enough for the purpose for which you’re using them.

Never had an IP audit?

If you’ve never had an IP audit, I’d strongly recommend getting access to the processes and templates to protect your IP.

Any mistakes in your IP position would come to light during due diligence checks in any sale of your business. That could lead to a drop in its sale price. Why not get your house in order well before you sell your business?

The ideal is to start a business as you mean to go on, and embed IP advice in it from the outset. So, if you’re just embarking on your business journey use the processes and templates immediately.

Why Brand IP must be properly managed

I would recommend that someone in every business learn about Brand IP by going through the Brand Tuned program because understanding names and the steps needed to manage a business’ trademarks and brand is critically important. They’re not covered at all in the PDF of processes and templates.

The brand is, after all, the most important asset in every business. As the Clubcard case illustrates, mistakes around names happen even at the household brand end of the market, and even when using an agency, designer or marketer. They take many different forms, and can seriously impact a business’ fortunes.

So, it makes sense that someone in a senior position within a business should take responsibility for the brand by learning how to  manage it on an ongoing basis. That requires an understanding of names.

Brand Tuned is NOT about DIY IP!

I think it’s important to highlight that the Brand Tuned program is not about DIY IP or learning to reduce your legal fees. Nor is it going to distract you from your main job by learning something that someone else knows and that you don’t need to know.

On the contrary, business owners and those at the helm of organisations or who advise businesses on design must understand Brand IP and names because they’re central to starting or growing a business and brand.

While it doesn’t need to be the business owner who learns what the Brand Tuned program teaches, it is desirable that someone senior in a business should go through the course content and take charge of the brand internally.

Managing Brand IP

The Brand Tuned training equips a business to understand how IP impacts business design so it can make better choices when naming new products, and managing the brand. You’d be better placed to instruct lawyers appropriately too.

And the bonus templates are about introducing processes and documentation to better manage other business IP because names are by no means the only way IP mistakes can hurt a business.

If you’re among the first 20 to enrol on the Brand Tuned program, you also get a one-to-one consultation with me included as a further bonus.

One to one consultation

The consultation could be used for anything you’d like to discuss. One use case might be to get further guidance about using the Brand Tuned program and bonus templates to enhance the value of your business.

Another use for the consultation might be to discuss how to gift the templates to your own clients if you’re a designer or marketer or agency serving business clients. Few business owners are aware of the way IP issues arise early on in the life of their projects, and would benefit from having some simple processes to ensure they take the right steps early on in the life of projects.

I’d like to help as many businesses as possible to protect their IP position. That’s the reason I’m allowing branding professionals to gift the Bonus PDF processes and templates to their own clients to better support them.

It’s so easy for a designer or marketer or branding agency to stand out and differentiate themselves through IP. Having these processes and templates to offer to clients enables you to better support your clients with IP issues that arise very early on.

And right there you have in excess of £1800 of value when you enrol on the Brand Tuned program before the end of June.

To find out about the June 2023 special offer that’s only available to Brand Tuned and Azrights newsletter subscribers sign up to the newsletter here.