Updated: November 14, 2014
I’m giving the “stage” today to a guest post from a good friend who is a patent lawyer in Australia.
Louie talks about the importance of protecting the intellectual property of your business, but more importantly, making sure that yours is not violating any trademarks or IP’s of other businesses.
If you’re up to date with tech news in the past couple of years, you probably heard about how Apple and Samsung has been going for each other’s throats in getting compensation for patent violations.
This article is a bit technical, but nevertheless contains some important points which you should consider as an entrepreneur.
Let’s now read what he has to say…
Ignorance of law is no defense and that holds true in the case of businesses.
As time goes by, legal changes can impact your business. For instance, just this year, the terms and conditions regarding intellectual property rights were revised.
Previously, for a patent to be awarded, the invention had to be assessed for its impact within the country. However, as per new laws which have been applied in U.S. and Australia, the assessment would be done in comparison with the world rather than just in U.S. or Australia only.
The idea is to raise the bar on the invention step.
In a similar vein, Australia has also changed its privacy laws and terms pertaining to the client’s details and credit reporting. The bottom line of the change is that a business whose turnover is in excess of $3 million is going to be liable for 13 Privacy Principles.
The idea is to manage direct marketing and also to keep a check on cross border disclosure for overseas clients.
The concept of knowing the legal side of your business is now important than ever. The legal protections and provisions are changing from time to time and if you don’t adjust accordingly, you may even see yourself in a situation where your business has no choice but to close down.
You may hire a corporate counsel for most legal matters, but your own knowledge about legal aspects can prove to be the difference maker. The information that you should be aware of ranges from the legal terms associated with contracts, your entity as a business, taxation laws applicable on you, expert bail, good or criminal practices and intellectual property among others.
The notion of intellectual property has gained limelight over the last few years.
The idea of patents has evolved from profit giving to securing your product. With the addition of a number of smart technology features, the rate of inventions is moving ahead at a very rapid pace. This means that you should be completely aware of the terms that are applicable.
Apply these requirements on your business and see if there is any product, service, process, etc. that you can secure using intellectual property laws. This not only ensures your profit, but also the legal protection if there’s infringement.
Any attribute or creativity that you generate should be backed with some sort of protection. It can range from copyright to the traditional trade mark. The idea is that you should be aware of what is applicable.
One of the easiest ways to start with educating yourself about the legal matters of your business is through a lawsuit that took place in your market/area of expertise. You’ll find number of case studies available with in-depth details.
This helps because you would be aware of the business side and understand the nature of the conflict. The legal matters, therefore, would gradually transcend upon you.
Once you do this, you would be able to get an idea of how your competitors can sue you or you can sue them for any legal infringement. In this way, you can work with your legal counsel to develop a strategy for averting any lawsuit against you.
You can also read up on the laws that are applicable on your business and how they vary from location to location.
Sometimes, you would find that your line of business has better legal protection in a specific state, so you can maximize your profits in this manner. By doing so, you can make your business more self-reliant.
This guest post is contributed by Louie Bernard from Sydney, Australia.