If you are thinking about launching a new product or service in an existing market or entering a new market, undertaking rigorous due-diligence in order to reduce business risks is imperative. This will ensure protection of your company’s IP rights and at the same time prevent third-party rights’ infringement. You should perform due diligence including:
- Freedom to Operate (FTO) analysis to determine third-party IP rights related to product/service features, design, etc. that might be infringed and pose a risk to the business and reputation of the organization. The FTO analysis will cover all forms of IP rights including patent rights, industrial designs, trademarks and copyrights. Risk mitigation strategies such as IP licensing or purchase, rebranding, product/packaging redesign, product feature work-around etc. can then be implemented, as appropriate.
- Assess necessity and opportunity for patent and trademark protection for a product/service in the appropriate market/jurisdiction for creating market leadership and generating commercial value through such IP rights. This will involve identifying patentability of innovative features as well as opportunities for obtaining trademark protection for brand names, logos, packaging, etc. in the jurisdiction under consideration.
- Determine availability of domain names for new brands and products.
- Identify IP licensing, franchising and technology transfer needs and opportunities for building market presence, distribution and supply chains. Appropriate contracts and agreements can be leveraged to ensure continuous protection of your company’s IP assets and rights with jurisdiction specific considerations.