In reviewing your client’s business direction you should also consider what intellectual property (IP) they have already secured and what they might develop and protect in the future. For SMEs, intellectual property rights can be a valuable business asset – potentially among the most important they possess.
You may wish to discuss with your client the benefits of protecting their intellectual property. IP can:
- set their business apart from competitors
- be sold or licensed, providing an important revenue stream
- offer customers something new and different
- form an essential part of their marketing or branding.
Clients may be surprised at how many aspects of their business can be protected. The following can all be types of IP: name and logo, designs, inventions, works of creative or intellectual endeavour, trademarks that distinguish the business. As a business adviser, you could carry out a systematic intellectual property audit of your clients business to:
- identify where IP is used
- find out who owns the IP rights
- assess the value of the IP.