Establishing your advantage in the marketplace with your Intellectual Property


The core value and most important asset in your business is your Intellectual Property (IP). As we have seen recently in high profile cases involving Ubuntu Baba and Vodacom Call-me, protecting your intellectual property is at the heart of your business.

It weaves through everything in your business: the way you appear to your customer, the way the customer experiences your product, the way the customer feels about you – and how you communicate your business to customers in a consistent and recognisable way. It is the vehicle which identifies and promotes your brand.

Your IP consists of your logo, designs, colours, trade secrets, etc; it represents the way you uniquely niche your product or service in the market in a communicative style that is registered solely as yours, and which cannot be used by any other person or business. Intellectual Property is the way you have imagined your business and expressed this materially in design and labelling. Once legally registered it cannot be copied – and this gives you your key advantage over competitors.

Stephen Hollis, Intellectual Property Attorney, Adam & Adams
talks about the importance of Intellectual Property in your business

Intellectual Property reflects the reputation of your business,  trust built up sometimes over many years; a trust evoked by the look and feel of your business – and ultimately in the way you personally engage with customers. When used in the context of its originality and the way you drive growth in your business, it provides a commercial advantage; an exclusivity that makes it the most powerful asset of your business. The basic building block of your brand is your intellectual property and therefore it must be highly prized and protected.

The success of any business depends on how its IP is protected, developed, enforced and managed. Acknowledge its value in establishing your advantage in the marketplace. Revel in your statutory right to own and motivate it – because how you use and innovate this asset will determine the future of your business.

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FASA Franchise Association South Africa
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