We’ve all heard the old saw about a great offence being the best kind of defence. Today, staying competitive in business is not enough. What sets you apart from the competition are the intellectual assets you possess that enable you to offer what few or no others can. The Tatas demonstrated this with the world-beating Nano, whose revolutionary design the company is trying to patent.
Patenting is one of the many ways to protect a new process, product or technology by gaining exclusive access and rights to it for a period of 20 years. Though experts estimate that the top 20 per cent of organisations file 80 per cent of all patents, patent protection is just as important for small or medium-sized firms engaged in high-investment, high-risk sectors like life sciences or IT-enabled services, where any theft or loss of proprietary information could have disastrous consequences. Moreover, a patent also gives a small firm something it desperately needs—reputational capital, which goes a long way in creating commercial and market value.
Smaller companies often don’t have the resources to develop and defend their intellectual property. Based on his own experiences, Suresh Narasimha, CEO, TeliBrahma Convergent Communication feels that one of the critical challenges faced by SMEs is that there is a lack of awareness and seriousness about patent laws. Some of these companies often don’t even realise that they own intellectual property that can easily be siphoned off by a competitor, often through an insider – Full story