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Intellectual Property (IP)... Tips from Preston Frischknecht pat. atty.

What is intellectual property (IP)?

IP includes patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc. It’s in technologies, products, features, packaging, names, designs, URLs, photography—all kinds of stuff!

Isn’t IP for “techie” companies?

IP applies just as much to soft and hard goods or ecommerce as it does pharmaceuticals and Silicon Valley. The possibilities are often surprising.

Is IP actually real? I’ve heard people can get around it…

IP is not a mythical unicorn thing – it’s real. It is created by law and supported and enforced by governments and others around the world. It has limits, but serious companies learn to use it as an effective tool to manage competition and build value. Less proactive companies usually learn in a harder or more expensive way.

What can I do with IP?

Obtain safety. Monopolize brands, products, features, and concepts. Build appraisable assets. License it. Sell it. Collateralize it to increase operating capital. Prevent or remove competitor’s products. Get on Amazon’s Brand Registry. Too many things to mention: I recently attended an international trademark law conference where an Indian attorney shared judgments he obtained that required infringers to plant 140,000 pollution-mitigating trees and pay millions of rupees to orphanages for women’s sanitary napkins. Think big.

When should I start thinking about intellectual property?

Now. At least be well informed early on. I’ve seen many heartbreakers with less proactive businesses that missed opportunities, had to change brands, pay a lot of money, or discontinue products and destroy inventory.

Doesn’t it cost a lot of money to try to get patents and trademarks?

Not doing it may cost you more later. A good IP attorney should be a cost-effective, strategic partner that helps you sort the necessary from the unnecessary, so that you can focus on growth and success.

Preston is a registered patent attorney at Project CIP – a Logan-based law firm that specializes in intellectual property.  Preston focuses on competitive business strategy, patents, trademarks, and copyrights.  Preston graduated in the top 10% of his law school class at the University of Utah, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Utah Law Review.  Before coming to Logan, he clerked for a federal judge and worked in commercial litigation for a large firm in Salt Lake.  Preston served as Malouf’s General Counsel for 4 years. 


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