Intellectual Property Law Firm

Big tech is always fighting over Intellectual Property because ‘IP’ means competitive advantage. Young tech companies don’t have the luxury of expensive legal teams, but must take IP just as seriously.

Because your job as a technology company is to create, protect, manage and commercialise your IP, early mistakes can be the difference between a quick scale-up unicorn and another flame-out.

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property, or IP, is a catch-all term for creations or works in various forms that are produced by the human intellect. When you consider most tech companies begin with a few people brainstorming around a laptop before pitching investors, your IP is your business.

Intellectual Property rights give creators rights over their creations and an exclusive right to use their inventions for a certain period of time. We help carve out that crucial time for you in the early days to turn your idea into a growing, profitable business.

IP includes an astonishing array of items. It can be data, devices, scientific or technical advancements, programs, works of authorship, methods and modes of operations, analyses and processes, photographs and reports.

It also includes your marketing material that helps you tell your company’s story, such as your brand, your image and your name.

How Big Is It?

IP rights underpin investment in intangible assets, such as branding and designs, and  there’s been a boom in the technology industry globally.

In 2018-19, IP investment in Australia totalled $39.6 billion. According to IP Australia, an arm of the Australian government that oversees IP rights and legislation, soaring technology stocks have been mirrored by a surge in tech IP.

In 2005, technology-related trademark applications made up just 15% of the total. By 2018, that figure had surged to 26%. ICT-related patents were fairly steady at 6.8% of all patent applications in 2018. 

This rapid growth is also mirrored in other IP powerhouses globally such as the US, UK, and Singapore. 

The US Chamber of Commerce reports that in 2021, global economies saw positive improvements in terms of IP development and commercialisation. This spans IP in its various forms like copyright, designs, patents, and trade secrets. The report shows that economies like the US, Australia, the UK, and Singapore with more effective IP systems are 38% more likely to attract venture capital and private equity. 

Tech companies in these markets are in a prime position to attract investors and not only grow and develop IP but also commercialize it.

Examples of IP Battles

  • In 2021, the International Trade Commission ruled that search giant Google had infringed the patents of smart speaker company Sonos, sending Sonos shares up 11%.
  • In 2011, Groupon was forced into an embarrassing settlement after failing to register its .au domain name quickly enough. While the final settlement wasn’t disclosed, Groupon had earlier revealed it offered $286,000 to settle the dispute. The legal fees were not disclosed either.
  • In 2018, marketing technology startup ROKT scored a legal victory over IP Australia, which took six years to complete, that changed the way the patent office treats software innovation.

How We Can Help

We ensure everything that truly makes up your company is protected by registering your IP with the right bodies. We advise our clients on best practices for creating, protecting, managing and commercialising their IP as they grow global.

Don’t take any risks with your biggest competitive advantage! Talk to our tech IP experts today.

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