Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights
The ultimate purpose of intellectual property is to encourage innovation. New Day Consulting Systems, LLC works with your organization to better manage intellectual property and thereby better manage innovation. The process begins with an initial free consultation to discuss your organization’s needs and develop a course of action and recommendations. The strategic development and management of a company or organization’s intellectual property can support growth, innovation, and revenue expansion. Thus, intellectual property management, assessment and analysis is critical for any company, particularly technology driven companies and companies developing into franchise systems. Contact an intellectual property consultant today to discuss possible approaches for growth and innovation at your business through the strategic use of intellectual property.
New Day Consulting Systems, LLC has created a brief video that provides an entertaining overview of some key intellectual property concepts.
Intellectual Property –Copyright
Copyrights protect original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Literature, music, movies, images and art are considered copyrighted works. Many operating manuals, policies and recorded procedures for franchise systems are copyrighted materials. Copyright protection gives the owners various rights to make copies, distribute, make derivative works, and make public displays and performances of works. Copyright also allows users to make certain uses of copyrighted materials. The creation and use of copyrighted material has become almost ubiquitous in the digital, information age. Most digital technologies involve the use of copyrighted materials. Google, You Tube, Facebook, Twitter and Instgram have developed business models that literally depend upon the exchange of copyrighted works. Those copyrighted works are often pictures, videos, text and music.
Intellectual Property- Trademark
Trademarks protect a word, name or symbol that is used in trade to distinguish goods from others. Trademark protection is a pillar of all franchise systems and is included as part of the definition of a franchise business. Trademark protection allows consumers to clearly identify goods and services and prevents others from using a mark which is likely to cause confusion as to the source of goods and services.
A critical component of all franchise agreements is the license of the franchisors trademark. The trademark is a key element of developing a brand and developing brand value. Although a brand is more than the name and image associated with a company, the name and image are key components of the brand. Other critical elements of brand value are the experiences consumers have with brands and how much monetary value consumers and/or the market place on the brand.
But without the trademark protection, the brand has limited legal means to defend its name and image from appropriation. A trademark provides critical identifiers in the marketplace to separate and differentiate a company from its competition. When a person is investing in a franchise, they are investing in a brand and the opportunity to use a trademark in the marketplace. That is why trademark licensing is critical for franchising nationally and internationally.
Intellectual Property- Patent
Patents protect inventions and designs and prohibit others from making, using, selling or distributing the patented invention or design without permission. Patent protection is also critical to various franchise systems and adds competitive value to a franchisor, further distinguishing the franchisor from others in the marketplace. Technology driven companies have developed detailed patent monetization practices. These practices include complex and lucrative patent licenses that contribute considerable to technology based company revenue streams.
Intellectual Property- Trade Secrets
Trade secrets are information and ideas that derive value from not being known by the public. Perhaps one the best examples of a trade secret is the Coca-Cola soft drink formula. Presently, trade secrets, unlike copyrights, trademarks and patents, have no federal civil protection. However, as of late 2014, the U.S. Congress is considering two (2) bills that could provide federal protection for U.S. trade secrets. As the Coca-Cola trade secret example illustrates, trade secret protection is critical to various franchise systems and adds competitive value to a franchisor, further distinguishing the franchisor from others in the marketplace.
Intellectual Property- Licensing
Permission to use copyrights, trademarks and patents many times comes in the form of licenses. And licenses are often given after a payment of fees to the owner. Businesses and other organizations many times have not clearly identified the intellectual property that the entity owns or uses. Failure to clearly identify intellectual property licensing, ownership, and use for businesses and other organizations leads to lost possible revenues, increased risk of abuses and overall mismanagement.
New Day Consulting Systems, LLC is not a law firm. However, we have a referral network of various law firms that carry out specific elements of the intellectual property management strategy. New Day Consulting Systems’ expertise lies in developing short- and long- term business and organizational strategies for managing intellectual property and developing alternative revenue streams, including alternatives to business system franchising.
An intellectual property management consultant at New Day Consulting Systems has the expertise and experience to help you think through the process and develop the right intellectual property management strategy for your company. Let us help you expand growth and innovation for your business today.