Business

Intellectual property: who needs it and why?

In today’s competitive world, almost every business thrives on innovation and ownership. Genuine business assets including ideas and concepts are protected with the help of intellectual property or intellectual property.

Is today’s competitive business world very different from the days of the past? The honest answer would be both yes and no. Although it is obvious why many would have chosen yes, there are reasons why it is not an answer. Well, it’s a NO for the economy. Is the economy the same as it was 30 or 50 years ago? It did not have the same pits and falls or driving forces as today.

What’s different about the economy and why are companies paying more attention to intellectual property than ever before?

We see that many companies create their R&D departments, hire dedicated engineers and designers, include programmers and researchers to allocate most of their budget to invest in inventors that contribute IP. On the other hand, there is an explosion of innovation and creativity among many ordinary people who become inventors of products and business models. Often times, these ordinary people have no experience or knowledge of business or technical training.

Why do companies show interest in intellectual property? The answer is simple and straightforward. It is because the country of IP returns. It pays both the investor and the inventor. It doesn’t matter if the company buys the invention or finances it, it pays for everything. In business, supply and demand are two closely related forces. Demand creates more supply and vice versa. Let’s consider this: when it comes to a new business, they would want to display their product on supermarket shelves. These shelves are also filled with products supplied by various other companies. Usually there is no option to extend the supermarket shelf. This is when there is a dispute. The new company will catch the public’s attention only if it has some special characteristics than the reputable company that sells the product. The special feature could be anything: a lower price, a special ingredient, better appearance, better value, improvised quality, eco-friendly materials or ingredients, or just any feature that the customer would appreciate now or in the future. Now is the time for the existing business to protect itself from the competition. They must maintain their shelf space in order to continue to function. How do they help themselves? They do the same as startups. They keep updating their functions. They use innovative technology to make them sound and feel better than their competitors. Intellectual property and patents. Patents are the best way to keep products running for a long time.

Years ago, when I was Director of New Product Development at a New Jersey company, I was asked to design a new infant seat that could be installed in shopping carts at major US and Canadian retail stores. The company was the best in the field at developing commercial equipment and products for the retail environment. I still consider the president of the company to be one of the smartest entrepreneurs I have ever worked with. I was confused. I asked him: “Our company is the best in the market and we lead the industry with the infant seats that we have designed previously. Why do you want to invest money, effort and time in a new product when your company already has the best of them? “He calmly replied:” The breeding business is like caring for a plant. You cannot bring a plant that has dried up in drought to life. You have to water it regularly to keep it alive and flourishing. In fact, reviving a plant half dead “is much more difficult than keeping you healthy.” For me, it was a valuable lesson. I was fortunate to learn another important lesson from him. One day, he announced that he was making an offer to buy one of the competing companies that declared bankrupt. He was about to shut down completely. I was shocked. I asked him, “Why do you want to buy a dying company? I guess they don’t have anything you want or need. Am I missing something? “The president replied,” Yes, I understand that this company is almost dead. She may be dead, but they have something I want. They have several patents. This would open up more market opportunities for the owner of these patents. I’m very interested in this dying company just because of its valuable patents. “So this made me realize that the demand for innovation and inventions creates a supply of new ideas. New ideas give new solutions that in turn give new proposals that they eventually become commercial offers.

Modern technology and advanced communication techniques have been of great demographic help. There are a number of TV shows like “Shark Tank” that feature people from different social, professional and educational backgrounds who meet potential investors. Viewers of these shows soon realize that you don’t have to be rich to make money. You don’t always have to come from an influential family to earn more money or invent new things. The critical factors that will help you make an invention would be observation, creativity, abilities or skills, and the willingness to act on the perceived idea. The logical idea to launch your business idea is to address the financial needs and initial investment of many independent inventors. Many crowdfunding websites like Quirky.com, fundanything.com, Ulile.com help raise the money needed to start your business. I know some of the inventors on a personal level, who have managed to make money from these websites. They have been successful with their approach and fund their own project. The development of their ideas has led them to manufacture products based on their ideas. I must admit that crowdfunding does NOT work for everyone. It is not a permanent solution!

If you ask me how I would see the future in the field of intellectual property rights, invention and innovation, I would say that I see it as a river that receives more water, becomes stronger, wider and wilder.

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