The impact of Covid-19 has made itself felt internationally and is likely to stretch considerably into the future. In times of crisis, focus necessarily turns to home and health, and doing what you must to ensure day to day life is manageable. But it is important to bear in mind that, eventually, we will come out the other side and we will need to pick up life in the new normal.
While aspects of life that aren’t essential may be easily sacrificed in the short term, you should also have a plan in place for the new normal. Your IP rights should form part of that plan.
What Should You Do?
Step 1 – Review what you have
If you already have registered IP protection in place, now is a good time to seek an overview of what you have covered and when renewal of rights fall due.
Review what IP you have in use or under development that is not covered by your existing registered rights. Do you have any current or projected IP that could provide a competitive advantage in the future?
Step 2 –Identify potential vulnerabilities
Brand and marketing experts are predicting a dramatic increase in counterfeit products and mis-used trade marks as commerce necessarily moves onto a digital and social media platform.
A review now should allow you to identify gaps in your protection.
Step 3 – Develop a strategy for best positioning
Discussions with your IP provider with a clear understanding of budgets will help you set up a strategy to maximise your protection.
This includes having a plan to manage renewal of already registered IP rights, finding options to firm up any vulnerabilities, and strategically securing fresh registered IP rights to protect your points of competitive advantage.
Do not be shy about having these conversations now. Working with your IP provider at the early stage of planning means you can structure your approach and should be able to avoid the need for urgent, and potentially costly, protective steps down the line.
Step 4 – Maintain vigilant review of the market place
It is dangerous to assume that because we are in a time of crisis, other traders won’t try to take advantage of a lapse in rights, or perceived inability to enforce rights.
Quick action against obvious infringements may be a cost-effective way to stop third parties gaining a toehold that will affect your ability to re-enter the market.
With the right tools created now, you can have a path to success in the new normal.