A Guide for Marketers About Intellectual Property (IP)

Intellectual Property

Marketing is a continuous undertaking. Whether you are an enterprise corporation or a small business, marketing is an essential means to keep businesses afloat as well as help drive businesses towards success. So it is important to secure and maintain the reputation of your brand in order to establish a smooth marketing campaign for your business.

But before coming up with a strategic marketing campaign, marketers need to fully realize the value as well as the limitation of their brand. Some people tend to discount the importance of intellectual property rights to their marketing campaigns. Knowing all too well that intellectual property rights can provide a great foundation to a brand or a product, we discussed some of its benefits as well as its advantages.

Intellectual Property Is Your Competitive Advantage

Intellectual property rights such as patent and trademark protections allows marketers to easily introduce their products to the public.

Marketers already have a one-up if their product is patented. Since patent protection grants businesses the right to remove similar products in the market, it substantially makes the job of marketers less difficult. They can simply focus on coming up with an effective marketing strategy on how to introduce their product in the market, and not worry about surpassing or beating their competitors. 

Trademark protection, on the other hand, supports and gives foundation to the marketing campaign. It grants businesses an exclusive right over a logo, name, slogan, design, and so on. Trademark protects the reputation and image of your brand by preventing others from commercially exploiting your mark. A mark can be an identifier for customers to recognize your product in the market. By having trademark protection in place, you can be sure that no matter what marketing campaign or strategy you do, the public is receiving a message consistent with the quality of your products in the market.

As an example, an original manufacturer of battery is not necessarily responsible for an imitated battery that exploded. However, customers may not be able to identify that the battery is imitated because your logo can be seen in the product. Once the customer had a bad experience with a product, it would then affect their purchase decision and they might turn to other brands for alternatives. So it goes without a saying that patent and trademark protection is one of the essential elements to a successful marketing campaign.

Research Your Competitors’ Intellectual Property

Marketers need to know that businesses have to conduct a patent or trademark search before filing for a patent or trademark application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). During this stage, marketers need to be involved because the results of the patent or trademark search could yield important information that can be used to devise an effective marketing plan. Publicly available information about intellectual property is an efficient marketing tool to use in order to identify potential competitors.

Since patent applications are usually filed by commercial enterprises, you can easily search for businesses that produce related or somehow similar products to you. By doing so, you would be able to know the potential and limitations of your product in the market before you even start campaigning for it.

Having an understanding of how to do a patent search is essentially useful for business-to-business marketing as well. You will be able to identify businesses or companies that can benefit from your products. For instance, if you are in a business that produces an electronic microscope, you would be able to search for other companies that are related to that field of activity.

The results of a professional patent search coupled with a legal opinion from a Patent Attorney is exactly what every inventor and business owner/entrepreneur needs to receive (and fully comprehend) prior to moving forward with their invention.

J.D. Houvener of Bold Patents

Prevent IP Infringement Lawsuits

It is important to know some of the basics of intellectual property law before marketing your product for commercial purposes. By doing so, you would be able to avoid business setbacks and costly litigations related to infringement.

In terms of copyright, most marketers already knew the ropes and extent of copyright law when it comes to marketing materials. Using images, videos, soundbites, music, etc. that you just Google or search on another search engine can put your business at risk. Therefore, you have to make sure that the creative works you are using for your marketing materials are free from copyright or the creator/author of the work allows you to use it for commercial purposes. This way, you can avoid infringement lawsuits and costly fees for litigation.

As for patent or trademark, knowing the process overview can essentially help marketers avoid infringement lawsuits. Since the application and maintenance process can be a bit complex, business owners usually hire a trademark or patent attorney to help them along. On that note, marketers like you need to be involved and mindful of this process so that you can come up with a better marketing strategy that will not put your business at risk.

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