Monday, July 11, 2016

The Importance of Exclusive Rights for Use

Let's just say you've created something unique and innovative, whether it is a book, a piece of art, or a distinctive set of furniture… now what? How can you protect your intellectual property from being re-purposed by unscrupulous villains bent on cutting you out of the loop of your own endeavor? How can you properly share your material with an audience while weaving your way through rights and fair usage rules?

Exclusive rightsIt might be time to get a patent for your exclusive product and begin to search the market for other companies interested in your invention. When the time comes to strike a deal, it’s important that you understand the importance and distinction of Exclusive vs. Nonexclusive Rights for Use, as well as solidifying ownership of your proprietary materials.

If a publication asks for Exclusive rights, they are asking that the piece only appear where they permit, during the length of the contract. The piece is restricted from being used or sold anywhere other than where the publication wants it. These terms usually have a time frame that varies. The contract could last anywhere from one month to a year.

Nonexclusive rights are exactly the opposite; Given a nonexclusive rights deal, Publisher 1 could feature your work on their website, while simultaneously, you may sell rights to Publisher 2 allowing them to put your work on their site as well. Just make sure Publisher 2 does not want exclusive rights while those rights are already being used by Publisher 1.

In other words, “Nonexclusive right to display, copy, publish, distribute, transmit and sell digital reproductions – Means you are allowing your material to be sold elsewhere, by someone else. This does not mean that you will see any profits from these arrangements.  Although you can sell your own work to other places at the same time – be aware that the original purchaser may make your material available to fee-based databases or other content sources without ever reimbursing you another penny.” (Gilks 2000)
Reasons for Patenting Your Inventions
  • Exclusive rights - Patents specify the exclusive rights that usually allow your enterprise to use and exploit the invention for twenty years from the date of filing of the patent application.
  • Strong market position – With documented exclusive rights, No other company may legally invent or commercially sell anything restricted by the patent. Thus making your brand the pre-eminent player for that specific invention or intellectual property.
  • Greater earnings on investments- After spending significant time and money in pioneering your products or intellectual properties, within the terms of the obtained exclusive rights, your company may commercialize your invention, allowing said company to obtain higher returns on it’s investments.
  • Opportunity to license or sell the invention - If you prefer not to exploit the patent through your own company, you may sell or license the rights to commercialize the creation to another enterprise that could become a source of income for your business. Keep in mind that another company will be making money off your product that you put in so much hard work into.
  • Increase in bargaining power - Simply put, the more patents your company owns the rights to, the more influence your company has over the specific markets pertaining to those patents. This causes other enterprises to gain serious interest in your patent portfolio that you have acquired through licensing contracts giving you greater bargaining power with other businesses.
  • Positive image for your business - In general, patents are viewed as overall positives for a company’s image. Investors, shareholders and other business associates will perceive patent portfolios as a validation of the high level of proficiency, specialization and technological capacity within your company. The better your companies image, the easier it may be to raise funds, include more business partners, and increase the company’s potential market value.
Fortunately, with the help of the patent system, a small start-up can stand a chance against larger competitors by protecting what has taken years of hard work and millions of dollars to develop. Without the protection of the patent system, many entrepreneurs would risk having their innovations stolen by bigger, more financially established/sound competitors.

Should you be seeking help with navigating the world of start ups, small business marketing, or the publishing world, please contact us at Spotlight Publicity for a free consultation.