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Intellectual property adds value to your company’s assets; learn more at free business workshop

By John Schlipp
Special to NKyTribune

What is Intellectual Property? How does it affect our everyday lives? How does it benefit businesses? The answer to all of these questions, in addition to business planning basics, are covered at a free workshop entitled “Entrepreneur Business Basics 101: Initiate, Engage, Connect.”

The event is scheduled at the Covington branch of the Kenton County Public Library on Thursday, October 19, between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Is it yours, mine, or ours? That is what many businesses wonder when they review their intellectual properties.

At this entrepreneur workshop, small businesses can learn how to perform their own intellectual property audit, and how to protect their intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and patents. This workshop also helps those entrepreneurs who are considering developing a new invention, starting a new business, or existing businesses who wish to improve their business performance.

John Schlipp

So what about patents, trademarks, and copyrights? How do these creative and inventive intellectual properties relate to small to medium-sized businesses? The World Intellectual Property Organization stresses that IP is a type of property or asset, just as valuable (or more valuable) as physical or real property. Often it may be intangible.

This has become even more evident with the development of e-commerce. Such online businesses rely even more on selling products and services tied to intellectual property and its licensing. Think of music, images, software, designs, networks, computer chips, and so on – these are all forms of intellectual property and routinely protected by such rights.

Copyright is the most common type of intellectual property. It is the easiest to register for protection and also the most economical.

Copyright covers authors and their literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, such as business websites, computer source codes, and even promotional literature. Turn the words around. Copyright authorizes the “right to copy.” It protects the aesthetic or textual expression of ideas, but not the ideas. One may register their copyright at the U.S. Copyright Office website.

Trademarks are perhaps the most visible form of intellectual property, especially associated with online businesses. Trademarks differentiate your product and/or service from competitors. When one thinks of trademarks, often brand names and logos come to mind. Such branding influences customer recognition and projects the goodwill of a business. A trademark is a word, name, phrase, or symbol, which identifies and distinguishes the business or provider of goods, services, or ideas.

Patents are not as visible as copyrights or trademarks, yet are one of the strongest types of intellectual property protection. Think of the recent patent wars between Apple and Samsung mobile technologies. E-commerce and online businesses often are based upon product or patent licensing. A patent protects unique processes, methods, and inventions.

Both patents and federal trademarks are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Many businesses that operate online realize the high value of their intellectual properties. Assessment of business intellectual properties such as patent portfolios and trademarks frequently enhance the value of a business. Forbes 
claims that Apple and Google are the most valuable trademarks in 2017. 
Even new business start-ups on a tight budget should consider conducting an intellectual property audit and including registration of their various intellectual properties as part of their business plan.

Steely Library’s Intellectual Property Awareness Center (IPAC) at NKU is an official Patent & Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) designated by the USPTO. The IPAC utilizes these PTRC resources to support free intellectual property programs and reference consultations for those looking for information related to copyright, trademark, patent, and other intellectual property topics. Contact or visit the IPAC for guidance on patent or trademark searching. 

Attend our FREE business seminar entitled “Business Basics 101: Initiate, Engage, Connect.” In addition to intellectual property awareness, this seminar helps those entrepreneurs who are considering developing a new invention, starting a new business, or existing businesses who wish to improve their business performance.

This event is supported by Steely Library’s Intellectual Property Awareness Center (IPAC) at NKU, the Small Business Development Center at NKU, the Kentucky Innovation Network in Covington, the Kenton County Public Library, and others.  

This FREE event takes place on Thursday, October 19, from 6:30–8 p.m. at the Covington branch of the Kenton County Public Library, 502 Scott Boulevard, Covington.

Pre-registration is suggested or phone 859-962-4000.

John Schlipp is an Intellectual Property Librarian and Associate Professor of Library Services at W. Frank Steely Library at Northern Kentucky University. He is the manager of the IPAC: Intellectual Property Awareness Center at Steely Library.

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