THE THREE P'S OF IP - PROTECT, PROMOTE AND PROFIT FROM YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTIES - PART I
Many people and small business owners only think of their intellectual property in terms of copyrights, trademarks, and patents. However, intellectual property also includes customer information, software code, databases, business models, brands, homegrown processes, employee expertise, and more.
It is always beneficial for a small business to take a detailed look at their business and see if there are ways to exploit any unused intellectual property. For example, maybe an idea or a product did not pan out the way you wanted, but instead of abandoning the idea or product altogether think about how it may be beneficial for another company and/or industry.
You may also consider using information that you collect through your business on customers, products, or other industry data for profit because it may be valuable to another company and/or industry.
IP IN THE NEWS:
George Hotz, a 17 year old from New Jersey, spent his summer figuring out how to unlock the iPhone so that it would be compatible with other cell phone service providers. He succeeded. T-Mobile is the only other US provider that an unlocked iPhone is compatible with, but it is compatible with most overseas providers. This raises an interesting copyright issue. Just last year the Library of Congress specifically excluded unlocking cell phones from coverage under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This means that Hotz did not violate any copyright laws or any US laws. It will be interesting to see if the Library of Congress revisits this subject again in the next few years.