People invest time, effort and money into their business and yet many overlook the importance of legally protecting their intellectual property and do not utilise their intellectual property rights to their ultimate potential. The value of the intellectual property of a business is often greater than the value of its capital assets. Unlike traditional capital assets, intellectual assets tend to appreciate in value.
In today's competitive and global market it is essential to protect these intellectual assets. While the increasingly globalised world allows information on products or services to be more freely available to the public, it is also more freely available to competitors. As a consequence it is now much easier for a competitor to take advantage of a businesses hard earned reputation.
The approach of many businesses has been to look solely at the legal framework of intellectual property ignoring the commercial reality of the marketplace. The idea of co-operation between businesses can be overlooked in an overly legalistic framework. A legal challenge should be the final step only when other avenues have been exhausted. There is an increasing need for businesses to look beyond these traditional approaches and look at a co-operative and commercial approach to IP protection to meet the new demands of this globalised market.