Protecting IP assets key to success of startups

By Ritika Agarwal, LexOrbis

Recent efforts by the government, investors and innovators have helped facilitate the growth of budding businesses in India. While the initial plans for any business involve indispensable demands and priorities, protection of intellectual property (IP) is often overlooked, mostly due to the costs involved. However, IP may prove to be a crucial asset for a startup on its road to success.

intellectual property protection
Ritika Agarwal

A preliminary search for IP assets such as patents, trademarks, copyrights and designs can give entrepreneurs an idea about the chance of success for their startup and its underlying business model. For example, if a similar patent, trademark, or design, which forms the key basis of the business model already exists, the entrepreneur is in a better position to evaluate the business model and ascertain whether a modification is required to avoid future conflicts. They can then decide on the amount of investment to be made, or whether to go ahead with it at all.

The protection of IP assets may also save a startup from future conflicts and litigation, creating legal security for its business and allowing it to channel its resources towards business development. Entrepreneurs often ask IP attorneys about protecting their “business ideas”, which is not possible. However, a well-planned IP protection strategy may be one way to successfully protect their business models from being copied.

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Ritika Agarwal is an associate with LexOrbis.

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