The growth of the digital era and industry 4.0 have fuelled the growth of intangible rather than physical assets, with intellectual property (IP) representing one of the largest asset classes that a company can hold and can include patents, trademarks, brands, databases, software and trade secrets.
James Turner, Director at Company Formation Specialists, Turner Little takes us through the details of why it is important to protect these assets, and how we can do so.
“IP is important, but rarely accounted for, because we most often equate value with money. It’s not always easy to evaluate its financial worth, but it’s important to create a plan to protect it. From a commercial standpoint, IP needs to be protected in order for companies to maintain their unique market position, but it can also have financial benefits – as it can be used as collateral for loans or company valuation in the event of a merger or acquisition.
“As industry 4.0 takes hold, we expect there to be a sharp increase in concerns surrounding the protection and ownership of IP rights. Designing the right business structure is an important consideration when protecting a company’s IP from theft, misappropriation, infringement or even potential creditors. For example, companies can limit liability through the use of holding and operating companies, which enables owners to centralise the company’s assets. Offshore companies can also be leveraged in the creation of these structures and can offer additional flexibility.
“That’s where we come in. At Turner Little, we specialise in creating bespoke solutions and structures for individuals and businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a small business owner or own a large plc, it’s important to ensure that your IP is secure, so you can focus on building a successful business.”