You intellectual property (IP) can be protected through a variety of types of intellectual property rights (IPRs), each of which has different advantages for your business. For instance, IPRs can add value to your company, provide income streams, allow you to prevent competitors from commercialising your technology and trading on your reputation and help you to retain key staff.

Correct exploitation and management of your IP and IPRs can provide significant benefits to your company. Given the potential value of IP to your business, the checklist below is a great starting point for thinking about your strategic IP planning:

  1. What types of IP does your company have?
  2. Should you protect your IP through patents, registered designs and/or trademarks?
  3. Do you have a technology that you consider to be a trade secret?
  4. Should you use non-disclosure agreements when meeting with potential new partners?
  5. Have you achieved good protection of your rights for example in a licence agreement or consortium agreement?
  6. Have you incorporated strict confidentiality clauses in agreements with your employees?
  7. Do you have an IP strategy aligned with your overall business strategy?
  8. How can you best extract commercial benefit from you IP?