IP for business
When you start a business, it's a good idea to look at the ways you can protect your intellectual property to give you an advantage.
If you start a business with a weak approach to IP it can prove disastrous down the track and very difficult to rectify.
To make sure you start on the right foot, this section outlines how IP can work for you. There is plenty of information in this section to assist both new and old business owners in everything from business planning to franchising.
Buying a business
Rather than start a business from scratch, you may buy a business that is already established.
When you buy a business you buy more than the stock or the right to sell products out of an existing shop. Whether it is the brand, patents or client list, you are buying the intellectual property and the rights to use it. Just as you need to value the stock, fixtures and fittings, you need to value the IP and other intangible assets well.
IP associated with a business
The following list identifies IP and other intangible assets that may be associated with a business:
- Patents and trade marks
- Domain names
- Copyright and industrial design registration
- Franchises and licences
- Distribution agreements
- Newspaper mastheads/publishing rights
- Secret processes and formulas
- Information databases, including client lists
- Computer systems software
- Core technology.
Intangible assets such as trade marks, patents or licenses should be recorded at their value on the date you buy a business. Like physical property, depreciation can apply to IP assets. On the other hand, successful businesses can see the value of IP increase.
The key thing when buying a business is to ensure ownership of all IP assets are transferred into your name.
Last Updated: 02/4/2014