Marketing & Intellectual Property

Marketing & Intellectual Property : Key Aspects for Firms’ Success

Marketing & intellectual property are crucial aspects that all firms and entrepreneurs must take care of. Actually, they are strongly related given that the “brand”, which is considered part of the “product” element of the “marketing program; mix ; 4Ps”, is also a characteristic of trademarks, a form of intellectual property. We highlight these issues in this session within your channel “Management with Merits – Manage to Prosper”, as part of our discussion for the 2nd book in the channel “Entrepreneurship 2016”. In fact, our previous videos/posts have introduced this book, and completed the 1st, 2nd and 3rd parts of it (steps of the entrepreneurial process). Last session “Financial Management & Financing” concluded the 3rd part (step) of entrepreneurship “Moving from Ideas to Firms”. Thus, this session starts the 4th and last step (Managing & Growing the Firm), by focusing on the 1st two tasks of it (Marketing & Intellectual property). To download the associated presentation (PDF) with this session, kindly go the video at YouTube and click on the appropriate link in the description section below the video.

The Interrelation

We have stated above how marketing & intellectual property are interrelated. The “Brand” represents the value the product provides to customers, which is also the perceived value or quality positioned at customers’ minds. This brand would have been built and sustained without both sincere marketing efforts, especially in the part of the product element in the marketing program or mix, and intellectual property awareness, protection & capitalization. For example, if anyone hears the word “iPhone”, they will immediately link this brand to the quality, value and characteristics of iPhone, especially the outstanding security features.

iPhone logo is part of its trademark, which is an aspect of both marketing & intellectual property.
iPhone Logo

Marketing for Entrepreneurs:

As stated above, a strong interrelation between marketing and intellectual property is the “brand” concept. Building & sustaining brands is usually done within the marketing program (mix), especially in the product aspect. Well, regarding marketing, we have stated at our previous sessions, especially “Feasibility Analysis” & “Business Models” , that all marketing aspects will be be discussed in details when we take one of the channel’s future books, which is “Principles of Marketing 2016”. To know about the books that the channel presents, please click here. However, we will highlight the marketing procedure, in general, as represent in this book, which is shown in the figure below. Studying this figure is extremely important for all entrepreneurs to have an insight on what marketing is and how it should be practiced.

Understanding the marketing process is important for all entrepreneurs to succeed in their businesses.
The Marketing Process
Source: Kotler, P. & Armstrong G. (2016). Principles of Marketing. (16th edn). USA: Pearson 

Intellectual Property Concept:

Our book “Entrepreneurship 2016” defines intellectual property as any product of human intellect (imagination, creativity, inventiveness etc.) that is intangible but has value in the marketplace. Thus, it is “property” because it belongs to the people “humans” who invented them. Intellectual property has several forms, but the book provides four most important ones as below.

A. Trademarks:

Trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device used to identify the source or origin of products or services and to distinguish them from others. The “iPhone” example that we provided above represents one aspect of “Apple’s” trademarks. Other components of that trademark are related to its features, such as color, shape, design, special features etc.

B. Patents:

Patent is a grant from the federal government conferring the rights to exclude others from making, selling, or using an invention for the term of the patent within a specific period, which can be renewed, as per the law. Thus, it is only a shield that protects the invention from being made, used, sold or copied by others within its validity period. However, it doesn’t grant the inventor the right to actually produce/make the product or sell it. Such permissions are related to the legal procedure and permissions related to obtain the required licenses for production, selling etc. as stated in our discussion of the legal aspects of businesses. Finally, patents have several types, but the book provides three types, as summarized in the table below (Part 4 – Managing & Growing the Firm, Chapter 12 – The Importance of Intellectual Property).

Patents are part of intellectual property. It has three types: utility, design & plant.
Types of Patents

C. Copyrights:

It is providing the owner of a work of authorship the legal right to determine how the work is used and to obtain the economic benefits from the work. Usually copying is not permitted without legal permission from the author or the company. Copyright is associated with tangible work, such as books, audio recordings, videos, poems etc. Actually, any work automatically obtains copyright protection once it is produced. However, authors should provide copyright symbol © and notes within their work, as shown in the below example, which explains how copyright notes are stated in the beginning of our current book “Entrepreneurship 2016”.

Showing copyright symbol © and notes is important with any work or publication to save the rights of authors/publishers.
Copyright Symbol & Notes Example from Entrepreneurship 2016 Book

D. Trade Secrets:

Trade secrets are any formula, pattern, physical device, idea, process, or other information that provides the owner of the information with a competitive advantage. It can come in both tangible (books, lists, videos etc.) or intangible form (advice, talk, etc.). Examples of trade secrets include how the company works and its internal bulletins, policies, plans, procedures, employees’ and customers’ lists etc. The most important difference between trade secrets and other intellectual property forms is that trade secrets are not legally protected. Thus, it’s the obligation of entrepreneurs to identify their trade secrets and take necessary measures to protect them, such as restricting access to important files or information, and initiating “non-compete” agreements with employees, which prevent employees from working with a direct competitor for a specific period of time after they leave the firm. Besides, employment agreements usually include clear clauses that prevent any employee from leaking firm’s secrets and info during employment and after leaving the company.

Intellectual Property Audit:

Intellectual property is the most important asset for all firms due to its huge role in gaining and sustaining competitive advantage. Besides, all businesses, no matter how big they are, have intellectual property. Thus, entrepreneurs must identify their intellectual property and take important measures to protect and capitalize on it. In order to do that, the book provides an amazing tool “Intellectual Property Audit”, which helps entrepreneurs check what intellectual property they have via asking specific questions that pertain to each form of it “patents, copyrights, trademarks & trade secrets”. Then entrepreneurs can use the outcomes of this audit to grow, protect, build and utilize their intellectual property that enhances & sustains the competitive advantage(s) of their businesses. The Audit is provided to you below as it appears in the book (Part 4, Chapter 12).

Intellectual Property Audit is a tool that helps entrepreneurs identify what intellectual property they have and its types, so that they can make plans and measures to protect them and capitalize on them .
Intellectual Property Audit

That was our session for today. Thank you so much for watching and following us. Next session, we will not only finish this fourth & last step in entrepreneurship, but also conclude our discussion of the whole book (Entrepreneurship 2016). Watch and follow us each Thursday on your channel Management with Merits – Manage to Prosper. Please support your channel strongly so that it can continue its glorious mission and services. Subscribe to the channel in YouTube and activate the notifications bell there. Follow us, participate with us and share the channel and all its electronic contact platforms

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