May 28, 2014

adding value through intellectual property

 

Many successful businesses, large and small, are built on intangible assets or intellectual property (IP). Whether it’s a trade mark, patent, design, copyright or trade secret, each can add value to a business’s physical asset. It is important to understand your IP, the different types of IP rights, where they fit in your business, how to protect them and the ways in which you can use IP to its full potential through licensing. During this seminar we will discuss:

  • What are trademarks and copyrights
  • The basics of patents
  • How to protect IP
  • Ways to enforce IP
  • Licensing basics

Join us and learn how IP can add value to your business!

 

Location: Civica Office Building

1st Floor

205 108th Ave NE

Bellevue, WA 98004

Time: 7:30am – 9:30am

Cost:        $100

*Free to Equinox, SKCC members and presenters’ clients and guests

Register for this event

Presenter:

Lauren Burgon, Equinox Business Law Group

Keil Larsen, Equinox Business Law Group

May 15, 2014

ADDING VALUE THROUGH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

 

Many successful businesses, large and small, are built on intangible assets or intellectual property (IP). Whether it’s a trade mark, patent, design, copyright or trade secret, each can add value to a business’s physical asset. It is important to understand your IP, the different types of IP rights, where they fit in your business, how to protect them and the ways in which you can use IP to its full potential through licensing. During this seminar we will discuss:

  • What are trademarks and copyrights
  • The basics of patents
  • How to protect IP
  • Ways to enforce IP
  • Licensing basics

Join us and learn how IP can add value to your business!

 

Location: Southwest King County Chambers

14220 Interurban Ave. S #134

Tukwila, WA 98168

Time: 7:30am – 9:30am

Cost:        $100

*Free to Equinox, SKCC members and presenters’ clients and guests

Register for this event

Presenter:

Lauren Burgon, Equinox Business Law Group

Keil Larsen, Equinox Business Law Group

Intellectual Property and the Financials

Our guest blog post comes from Dennis Purvine of CFO Selections.  Dennis is a CPA and CFO and has worked with companies in all stages of development.

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Intellectual Property (I.P.) can be protected by patent, copyright, trademark, etc.  Companies that create, or purchase, intellectual property presumably create value for their business. (More on this “value” later.)  As such, the costs incurred in acquiring the I.P., whether done in-house or purchased from an outsider, should be capitalized and shown on the balance sheet. Showing the intellectual property on the balance sheet reminds everyone, including bankers, shareholders, and eventually the potential purchasers of the business, that the company has intellectual property which may increase the company’s value.

The actual value of the I.P. is determined by the competitive advantage that the I.P. gives the company. For example, the company has a patent that allows them to make an item that is superior to the competitor’s items. This may result in a higher unit price for the item and/or an increased number of units sold – simply because they are better. Or the company may have a process that allows them to make an item, of the same quality, for a lower cost than their competitors. Again, this places the company at a competitive advantage.

This competitive advantage can be measured in terms of greater sales and/or profit compared to their competitors. When a company is being valued, either as a potential purchase or for succession planning, the value that the I.P. adds is taken into account. One client of mine produced a copyrighted product that was of much higher quality than the competition. As a result, his company produced and sold more than 90% of these items that were sold in the United States.  (Please do not tell the Federal Trade Commission!)  When the company was sold, the copyright increased the price of the sale. I have also seen companies purchased mostly to gain access to their intellectual property.

Common Mistakes in Patent Protection

Our guest blog post comes from Jim Rutter of Ruttler IP Law.  Jim will be our guest speaker at our June 23 Equinox Focus Event “Protecting and Leveraging Your IP”.

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The first major mistake that is made with patents is disclosing an invention prior to filing a patent application.  Disclosure could include offering to sell an invention, actually selling an invention, distributing advertisements about an invention, publishing an article about an invention, or any other act that causes the invention to be known to the public.  The issue with disclosures is that they result in loss of the ability to seek patent protection outside the U.S. and trigger filing deadlines in the U.S. that must be met to prevent loss of patent rights.

A second common mistake that is made is not utilizing provisional patent applications.  Provisional patent applications are relatively cheap and informal applications that can be filed quickly.  They result in a patent pending status, allow disclosures to others of the material contained therein, and provide for up to a year before a more formal application must be filed.  Provisional applications are excellent tools for entrepreneurs with limited initial resources because they preserve patent rights for minimal expense while the invention is further developed.

A third mistake made is not considering design patent protection.  Most believe that patent protection is only available for functional inventions.  This is not the case as there is also patent protection available for new creative designs.  Protectable designs can include new product shapes, packaging shapes, website interfaces, font styles, and the like.  Design patents are less expensive to obtain and can be obtained quite quickly.