SHOP LOCAL: Safeguard your intellectual property

SHOP LOCAL: Safeguard your intellectual property

Local Business Matters

David Eaton – WA Small Business Commissioner

Your business is likely to have a wealth of Intellectual Property (IP) – from the name on your door, to an innovative new process, design or product invention.

It’s this that distinguishes your business apart from your competitors, and as your business grows, so too will the importance of these assets.

Because IP is not a physical asset, it can easily be overlooked.

Safeguarding your IP is an important step in developing and maintaining a competitive edge.

When establishing a presence in the marketplace, protecting and managing your IP will give you ownership rights over important aspects of your business.

IP protection should stop competitors copying or stealing your unique ideas.

If you’ve developed a new product, service or idea, visit ipaustralia.gov.au to check whether anyone else has registered the IP and if they haven’t, find out the cost for you to apply for the registration.

While there are seven types of IP protection, most businesses use patents, trademarks, copyright and design registration.

One of the most common IP assets overlooked by small business is protecting a unique business name – consider registering it as a Trademark to legally protect it throughout Australia.

Not all business names however can be registered as a Trademark.

There are 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services to be considered – choosing the right class is important.

When starting a business, business owners often don’t see IP as a priority, when in fact it is.

IP is your unique selling proposition and could be the key ingredient to making your business a success.

With businesses constantly redefining themselves there is a greater need to protect your IP and your business.

For more information on intellectual property, copyrights, patents, and trademarks and how to protect your business visit smallbusiness.wa.gov.au or contact one of our experienced business advisers on 13 12 49.

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