Mark Tighe, CEO and founder of specialist tax consultancy Catax
Intellectual property (IP)is a business’s most valuable asset. It is what provides a business with its unique identity, setting it apart from its rivals. It is what defines the expertise, services and products the business can offer. It is usually the driving force behind company mergers and acquisitions (M&As).
It is vital that growing SMEs review and protect their IP as early as possible to ensure future stability and success. IP left unprotected can completely undermine and devalue a flourishing business.
For smaller companies, the value of IP does not always immediately translate into revenue and there is a widespread lack of understanding about the role of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and other intangible assets. IPRs are often grossly undervalued in the company accounts and not properly managed so businesses fail to capitalise on them.
A classic example is an SME which registers a trademark for its branding then fails to monitor the registration, meaning another company’s infringements go unnoticed. Registered trademarks last ten years however if no action is taken to renew them, the company will lose the right to challenge the infringement resulting in the brand being devalued and needing to be completely overhauled.
Read more here