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Risk is the chance of something going wrong, and the danger that damage or loss will occur. By its very nature, there are both rewards and risks associated with IP. For anyone involved in IP, then IP related risks are part of working life.
However many ignore the risks associated with IP or only react when the risk has materialised, which is most times too late. Also, many of the IP related risks that companies face are due to their own lack of awareness or proper understanding of IP, and/or their own actions or lack of actions.
There are multiple forms of IP such as patents, trademarks, copyright, etc. etc.
The term ‘soft IP’ is sometimes used to refer to trademarks, copyright, and domain names, in contrast to ‘hard IP’, which is sometimes used to refer to patents.
I accept that use of this phrase is controversial among some IP practitioners, and that the term soft IP may mean slightly different things from one IP practitioner to another
This paper focuses on soft IP and in particular on trademarks, domain names and social media handles, and some of the common mistakes made by SMEs as far as these forms of IP are concerned. (more…)