Intellectual Property Protection for Small & Medium Size Businesses
Being a small or medium size business (SME) does not mean you need to be left behind. SMEs often believe they don’t need or can not afford to protect their most important business asset – their Intellectual Property (IP). This couldn't be further from the truth. Their IP asset is often what separates them from the competition.
If you have a unique logo, design, product or process that your customers associate with you, then you need to own these assets and leverage these assets to help grow your business.
Own your IP asset and leverage off your IP protection to maximise financial returns
If you have developed a niche product, a memorable trade mark or a unique process you must protect it to own it and control it. If you own it and control it, you can use it to make money by delivering a product or service that only you can provide.
If you have changed your logo, process or look or feel of a product, introduced new services or product lines, you need to reassess whether your existing IP covers the new products or services.
The rule is "always own and control your IP" to capture your market and prevent the entry of competitors.
The consequences of not controlling your IP are losing your market position, having competitors crowd your market, being forced into price wars, and eventually closure of your business.
IP protection is about protecting what is important and commercially relevant and then leverage it to generate revenue for your business. The first step in protecting your IP, is to make an appointment at Wynnes for a free consultation, to review your business and identify your IP assets.
There are many benefits of trade mark, design or patent protection including:
- Setting your business apart from your competitors
- Licensing your competitive advantage as another revenue stream
- Forms part of your marketing and branding messages
- Formally recognising it on your balance sheet as an asset
- Preventing new entrants or competitors taking away/over your hard work
Know what you need to protect
What can you protect to own a technology niche, market position, and unique market presence?
Corporate Name and Logo
Your company’s name and logo are trade marks. Registering these trade marks gives you ownership in respect of your products and services throughout Australia (or other countries).
Slogans, Phrases, Words or Numbers
A memorable slogan or phrase that customers associate with your brand, products, and servicing. (Eg: just do it). New words (Eg: Kodak), unique spelling of a word or alphanumeric combinations (Eg: 7-Eleven).
App Icons and Graphics
Icons and Graphics used for computer software or mobile applications serve as distinctive trade marks and are the distinguishing element that potential users identify with a product or service.
The packaging for a product can often be distinctive in how the product is presented to the customer. The customer associates the packaging with the business and provides a quality value to the product.
Jingles and Sounds
Advertising jingles or a unique sound associated with your brand (Eg: Windows Start Up) can provide an association with your business, products and services.
Shapes and Colours
Overall shape of a product or packaging (Eg: Coca-Cola bottle) or a particular colour associated with your brand, in your industry (Eg: Cadbury purple).
Apparatus, Assemblies, Devices, Tools & Widgets
New and inventive machines, apparatus, assemblies, devices and widgets can be protected. Often the method of use or manufacture can be also protected to broaden the scope of protection.
Methods and Processes
Business methods, chemical and biological processes can be protected. Methods and processes where a new result is produced can be considered for patent protection.
Computer hardware and software, functionality associated to produce a new result can often be protected by a patent.
Kits and Parts
Can be protected often as a subgroup of an apparatus or assembly parts are important where it is a key component for an apparatus or device. The part can also be subject matter for a design.
Synthesized Chemicals and Biologicals
Novel compounds, chemical processes (particularly commercial scale processes), purified biologicals, modified biologicals, new biological processes are protectable.
Products that have a unique appearance but may not provide a new function. (Eg: The particular shape of a chair) can be protected by design registration.
Plastic or metal extrusions can be protected. (Eg: Housing guttering, shaped conduit, window and door framing).
Key Proprietary Components
Key components that have a specific shape to fit within a device or apparatus to enable the operation or utility of a device or apparatus can be subject matter for a design. (Eg: The shape of a mating socket for an electrical connection).
Products that have unique pattern or ornamentation can be protected by designs. By way of example, wallpaper patterns, wrapping paper, cartoon characters on bed sheets can be protected with a registered design.
Plants, Industry Specifics and more
Different industries such as services relating to plants or wine have unique requirements. With plants, Plant Breeder Rights (PBR) need to be considered. With wine, the Geographical Indications Act must be taken into account.
Wynnes can help you identify and protect your IP assets
If you would like Wynnes to help identify your IP, provide options and recommendations, we are happy to discuss your situation with you in person, over the phone, via email or web chat.
We are here to listen, provide assistance and help you protect your important IP assets.
Let us help you grow and protect your business.
Take advantage of our Free Consultation
"It’s different for the little guys, being a small business and protecting your idea is quite expensive. Ewen understood that. Instead of trying to explain things in legal terms – he introduced the commercial way."
"Because we are growing so rapidly, it was crucial to keep our IP updated and protected overseas and Wynnes was really efficient in doing so."
"Wynnes have been great partners of ours for the last ten years. We trust them 100% to work with us and act in our best interest at every turn."
"Ewen and his team genuinely care about your business. They are understanding, considerate and respectful, which is crucial in our industry."