US registered patent & Florida Bar certified intellectual property attorney, creator of iPscaling, board chair of the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, and coStarters facilitator.
Hey, Chris Paradies here. You probably want to know more about why I created iPscaling. I'm motivated by an urgent need that has remained unaddressed by law firms and lawyers for more than two decades.
How can lawyers just sit by and wait until AFTER people get in trouble to do something. Well, some lawyers find it hard to reach potential clients that don't know a problem exists. It's easier, and sometimes more profitable, to wait until the need is urgent, AFTER a lawsuit is filed or someone steals your IP.
And some potential clients procrastinate when it comes to doing what's important and necessary, especially if nobody tells them why it's so important. After all, there are so many things that seem more urgent.
I call experts, innovators and creative entrepreneurs, like artists and entertainers, "iPmakers" because we create something from nothing. We make intellectual property or "IP" that has value to our customers.
So, why do so few iPmakers take action to own and protect their valuable IP? That's a question I've asked for years. There are several answers that I've received.
Reasons I hear for not protecting iP:
- lack of money
- lack of time
- thought I owned it already
- it just isn't worth it
What's YOUR excuse?
Lack of Money?
Yes, I get it. Owning and protecting your IP is an "investment" at a time when cash can be hard to come by. But, why would you risk losing your most important asset (more on that later) by doing nothing, when you're investing so much time, effort and money in getting your business setup and profitable? iPscaling makes the amount of the investment needed to protect your IP reasonable and limited.
Lack of Time?
Time is the one thing that none of us can get back. However, there is NEVER a lack of time. Before you say "How Can You Say That!", let me explain.
You have time for lots of things IF it's a priority.
The question is not whether you have time to own and protect your company's most valuable asset. Rather, it's whether owning and protecting your IP is a greater priority than some of the other things that you do INSTEAD.
That's why I created iPscaling, the "Concertina" principle and the iP Score Quiz -- to help busy business owners focus on protecting the right iP, saving tens of thousands in legal fees and costs without wasting time on the wrong intellectual property for a business.
Thought I Owned It Already?
Well, your company doesn't OWN anything unless it's assigned to the company by an agreement, registered in the name of the company, or created for the company under a Work Made For Hire agreement executed prior to creating the work, or an employee working within the scope of employment with a written obligation to assign or as a work made for hire under the Copyright Act.
"But I Paid For It!" (I hear some of you thinking this, but it's a myth.)
Well, sorry. That's just not good enough. Maybe... you have an "implied license" in some iP if your company can prove that it "paid in full" for someone's services. But that type of implied license, if available in your state, is very limiting AND often nontransferable. That means you can't sell it. You might even struggle to sell your business when the time comes.
Otherwise, you don't own it and someone else does, even though your company paid to have it created.
It Just Isn't Worth It?
More than $4 out of every $5 (more than 80%) of value of companies listed on the S&P 500 is intangible property (or lower case "i" captial "P" as I refer to it to distinguish it from intellectual property or IP).
If you're not the power company, cable TV company, a real estate holding company, or a materials manufacturing company, then the percentage of your business value attributed to iP should be even greater than 80%!
So, how can business owners ignore more than 80% of their business?
?If you're like most business owners, you didn't major in accounting for intangibles.
You didn't realize that everything that you spend developing your intangibles, and more besides, could have been counted as building equity in your business. Greater equity on our balance sheet should make it much easier to talk to investor and bankers when looking for investments and loans.
Most business owners, especially small business owners, just consider these expenditures as ordinary costs. But resources spent developing software, creative works, marketing, trade secrets and other innovation should be added to your balance sheet, especially if its protected by intellectual property.
Want to know more?
Then, take my FREE Quiz to get your intellectual property score, and see how your stack up to other busiensses.