If you were clever enough to identify a gap in a certain market, you might have created a product or solution that's done particularly well. Yet you will always face risks whenever you are successful, as others will want to deprive you of your advantage and get a slice of the action. While competition is good, you need to make sure that people do not take things away from you that are rightfully yours. Why do you need to be careful with your intellectual property going forward?

Identifying Your IP

You may have heard of the term intellectual property, or IP for short, but have never given it a second thought. You may imagine that it is a matter for high-powered corporate lawyers in a boardroom somewhere else who may want to protect the assets of a multinational corporation. Yet most small businesses have a certain amount of intellectual property, and depending on its form, it could be of significant value.

Legal Protection

The law can protect a business operation against intellectual property theft in a number of different ways. You will need to assess your situation and determine just how valuable each item of your IP is. You need to look at various forms of protection like copyright, patenting, mark or design registration and find out how you can protect each, if necessary.


Copyright protection is usually automatic and can help you to protect your content online and in print. You will need to go through a more extensive process, however, if you want to protect registered service or trademarks, designs or patents. You will need to involve a commercial solicitor at this stage.


If, as part of your business development, you have created a specific process that is unique and, consequently, valuable, then you may need to look at a patent application.

Design and Trademarks

If you have a logo that is powerful, productive, memorable and unique, then you may want to apply for registered design protection.

Worth Looking At

You should not dismiss the value of your IP. You may not be able to see a financial return in purely tangible terms, but your property may well help your business stand apart from the rest and be part of your unique selling proposition (USP). Talk with a commercial lawyer in your area who handles IP registration, and they can help you determine your way forward.