- Tech & Gadgets
- BRW. lounge
Published 18 June 2012 08:08, Updated 20 June 2012 22:03
McCullough Robertson intellectual property partner David Downie says there are a couple of common chinks in businesses’ intellectual property armour.
1. NOT REGISTERING A TRADEMARK
“Even if your business name’s not registered, you risk infringing someone else’s trademark or not being able to enforce your own reputation if others use the name and you might not be able to stop them,” Downie says.
2. FAILING TO SECURE IP FROM INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS OR SUPPLIERS
If you pay a contractor to develop your website or software to underpin your business, unless you secure an assignment of IP from them, Downie says, the contractor owns it.
“This often arises when people are trying to sell their business and have assumed they owned it but due diligence reveals otherwise,” he says. “If they’re not an employee, the default position is the contractor owns it even if you paid for it.” It’s best to secure the rights upfront and avoid being placed in a compromised position. “It’s easier and cheaper to secure an IP assignment earlier rather then being held to ransom later,” Downie says. “If the contractor knows you’re trying to sell your business they might try to leverage that.”