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Brand Names and Trademarks – What We Can Learn From Oscar Wilde

Uncategorized Oct 01, 2018

 Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, says

‘It had always been a girlish dream of mine to love someone whose name was Ernest. There is something in that name that seems to inspire absolute confidence.’

In this quote Oscar Wilde captures the significance of names. How a name alone can lead to our having faith in a person called Ernest. We subconsciously form an impression of the individual as someone serious in intent or purpose, and sincere.

From this it’s clear that a mere name evokes certain reactions and emotional responses.

So, bear this in mind when you’re naming anything in your business. The name can give customers an idea or feeling about your business even before they have experienced working with you.

Names are hugely important in terms of your intellectual property as they contain the value of your brand. So, they deserve serious attention.

After all your name is the first thing to come out of your mouth every time you pitch...

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How to Protect Ideas Against theft by Competitors and Others

Uncategorized Sep 24, 2018

Pablo Picasso reportedly said, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” The general thrust of this quote is right in that thieves and copycats are as common in business as in any other walk of life.

Confidentiality is one of the Core 3 IP rights that you should understand well because it plays an important part in business protection, particularly around ideas, systems, processes and your database.

You may think intellectual property is there to protect ideas.

We humans the world over are territorial. Just think of land border disputes, garden fences, your favourite mug in the office or even leaning on your partner at a party, subconsciously letting everyone know that they are taken.

We even have designated spaces where we live, work and socialise. In a civilised society, everything has its place, and we have grown accustomed over the millennia, to assuming that others will respect these boundaries, as we put them up.

From a biological perspective, we became...

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What Is Intellectual Property? And Why Do You Need To Know About It?

Uncategorized Sep 18, 2018

Let me start by asking you a question. Why are you in business? Or why are you planning to start one? What’s your motivation? Do you hope to make it big, be the next Richard Branson or Anita Roddick? Or are you just intending to be self-employed?  Certainly, when I founded my law firm, Azrights 13 years ago all I wanted was to work flexibly while raising my 2 daughters. However, aspirations change over time. I discovered a love of entrepreneurship and my ambitions grew. You may find your aspirations change over time. Bear them in mind as the IP actions you need to take do depend on the direction you’re taking.

 

IP for small business

 

I’ve had 20 years’ experience in IP work now, but when I founded Azrights I’d just worked on the IP projects of blue chip companies like Reuters where I’d been an in-house lawyer. Due to the enquiries we were receiving at Azrights I became aware of the problems small businesses encounter with IP....

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Trade mark searching: A glimpse into the future?

Uncategorized Sep 17, 2018

Trade mark registration is the way to own a brand name, and those who are familiar with trademarks likely appreciate the importance of taking steps to ensure their brands are available, and securing them early on when launching new products or services.

In line with such good practice, businesses typically register trademarks well in advance of their new products hitting the market place, and this can have an interesting side effect: speculation.

The trademark registers are public, which means that anyone can commission a search to discover whether someone has already claimed rights to a brand name they are considering before they invest on marketing, graphics, websites and so on. This is a central function of the registers, putting others on notice of your rights, and as part of the registration process trade mark applications are in fact advertised in a journal, giving other businesses the opportunity to object if, for example, a mark applied for is confusingly similar to their...

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Blogging Without Infringing

Uncategorized Sep 10, 2018

In my previous post, I looked at the issue of protecting your blog content and identity. This blog briefly looks at some of the issues concerning the inclusion of other people’s materials in your content.

As I mentioned in the last blog, as a blogger you need to look in both directions when it comes to intellectual property (“IP”). In particular, you should ensure that what appears on your blog – be it text, photos, or comments – does not infringe the IP rights of someone else.

Before you launch your blog, with your new blog identity, you should carry out trade mark searches to make sure your name, tagline and logo don’t infringe the registered trade marks of another person or company.

Public domain and copyright

Moreover, make sure the contents of your blog presence don’t infringe someone else’s copyright. Content is not necessarily in the public domain just because it is freely available to access on the Internet. Unless you have...

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How Not To Grow A Business – My Experience Since Starting Azrights

Uncategorized Sep 03, 2018

When I set up Azrights back in 2004/5 it was after a few years bringing up my daughters. I had no existing client base so I built it from the ground up.

Luckily, I discovered a love for entrepreneurship which saw me through the extremely steep learning curve to develop my marketing and business skills. The IP work I’d done before had been for big blue chip companies whose needs and focus are very different to that of SMEs. As SMEs were my target clients. I had to discover their needs, and learn how to communicate to them.  

In due course my ambitions for the business soon had me renting a big office and recruiting a team to fill it.  The only trouble was that the role of managing the office fell on me as the owner of the business. Yet I need flexibility and freedom, and found the need to supervise an office felt like having a job all over again. 

I made the best of it for years although I increasingly felt like a slave to this monster I had...

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What You Can Learn From JK Rowling and Gilbert O'Sullivan When Turning Your Ideas Into A Commercial Concept

Uncategorized Dec 07, 2017

In my last blog Turning Ideas Into Assets When Branding A New Product Or Service  I explained why awareness of IP is so important when turning your ideas into a commercial concept. Essentially, in the digital economy, intangible assets comprise 70% of the value of many successful businesses. So, IP is a fundamental skillset for every entrepreneur to develop.

You can really see the fundamental importance of IP at play when contrasting JK Rowling’s experience with Gilbert O’Sullivan’s.

When JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, was a penniless, unknown writer, who would have believed she would one day become one of the world’s richest authors? Reportedly her net worth is now £1 billion.

What may not be so well known is that JK Rowling’s wealth is underpinned by intellectual property rights, specifically copyright. In her case copyright was critically important due to how she manifested her ideas – that is, in a book. With the...

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Intellectual Property - Turning Ideas Into Assets When Branding A New Product Or Service

intellectual property Dec 05, 2017

We recently launched a survey about intellectual property because I’d noticed that clients and prospective clients often struggled to know what IP is, and what’s involved to identify and protect it.

So, if you’ve ever wondered how to identify IP issues when branding or developing a new product or service, what you need to do, when you need to do it, and what steps are involved to protect your IP, then you may be interested in the results. 75% of entrepreneurs do not know what IP issues arise when implementing new ideas. The rest only had a vague idea. As for when to protect IP, only 9% said that yes they know when to protect IP and how to protect it. The vast majority did not know how or when to protect their IP, and are not confident about how to check whether they may legally use a name.  

Consequently, following these survey results I’ve decided to run a beta version of my upcoming IP Fundamentals e-Course. This will be half the price of the...

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Why Protect Intellectual Property Assets?

Thinking about and taking steps to protect intellectual property is how you turn intangible assets into exclusive property rights.

Depending on the type of IP right in question, the property right lasts for a certain length of time, which may often be renewed on payment of further fees.

Taking the right steps to protect an IP right enables your SME to claim ownership over its intangible assets and exploit them to their maximum potential. In short, IP protection makes intangible assets a bit more tangible.

Different Steps Depending on the Type of IP right

Legal protection involves different steps depending on the type of IP. For example,

1.      Copyright generally involves reviewing the legal agreements you have in place, and making sure your rights are safeguarded.

2.      Trade marks involve choosing names carefully, as only names that can function as trade marks are protectable. Also, if a name is not available then you may not...

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