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START-UP’S and their Intellectual Property Investments

Start-up’s seem to be springing all over India. Our busy schedules combined with growth and the spread of the internet has added impetus to this growth. We know have start-up’s offering services from the delivery of furniture to the delivery of groceries. Numerous start-up’s make it big in time and the success stories are many in number.

A similarity in most start-up’s are that a single individual or a group of individuals pool in their financial resources and commence the business. The most urgent requirement’s include seeking a work space, the setting up of a company, selecting a catchy name and a logo, hiring employees etc. Intellectual Property knowingly or unknowingly forms a huge part of a start-up’s life. To take an example, the name and logo of the company can be regarded as a trademark.

However, start-up’s generally do not wish to invest their money in the protection of this intellectual property. They are under the mistaken notion that such protection is secondary and can be done at a later stage. It is considered as a waste of financial resources which at the stage of commencement is not in abundance. During the course of their journey, start-up’s eventually go to venture capitalists to seek an infusion of funds. Venture capitalists do make it a point to find out not only about the structure of the start-up’s, their future, their growth etc. but also about their intellectual property.

We often find that start-up’s come to us at this stage to protect their Intellectual Property. However, in certain cases, it is a bit too late to protect their Intellectual Property. Therefore, the finances invested in the advertisement of the name and the brand over the last many years becomes a waste.

For a start-up the most important intellectual property would be their name and logo. These form an identity as to who they are or as to where the product bearing these marks originate from. As an initial step, start-ups must as a norm consider the protection of their Intellectual Property as important as the registration of their company. Intellectual Property must be looked at as an investment just like a floor space or a computer or the hiring of employees. It plays a huge part in the success or failure of a company.  The most common types of Intellectual Property protection a start-up can go in for relate to trademarks, copyrights and designs.

As the years go by, start-up’s must add on to their Intellectual Property thereby increasing the value of their company. Unlike a car, which is a depreciating asset as the years go by, intellectual property is an appreciating asset. The more years it is held and safeguarded can prove to be the difference for a start up in its growth story.

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