IP Management:

IPR Primer

Intellectual Property (IP) in E-commerce

Taking Stock of Your IP Assets Relevant to E-Business


By World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)



Internet Entrepreneur

Solo Interpreneur

How Much You Can Earn Online from Ads

5 Tips for Internet Startups

IP for SMEs


Internet Power

Website    Customer-focused Website

ICT for SMEs

e-Business Adoption

IT/Business Alignment: Top 10 Tips

ERP Implementation: Top 10 Tips

Internet Marketing

Content Marketing

Social Media Marketing


IP in e-Commerce

Understanding How IP Relates to E-Commerce

Taking Stock of Your IP Assets

Web Site

Internet Domain Names


Distribution of Content on the Internet

Using Care in Disclosures on the Internet

Important Contracts and IP

Partnerships with Gov. and Edu. Institutions

IP Concerns About International Transactions

An important early step for any E-business is to make an inventory of IP assets. Pick up a pencil now and write a list of any patents, patent applications, or innovations that you have made that you think could be patentable inventions.

Also write down anything you think is copyright. This would include software, designs, documentation or technical writing, software scripts, user interface materials, schematics, artwork, web site designs, music, photos, etc. Copyright protection is automatic in most countries and does not require registration (though registration in the copyright depository, wherever available, is generally advisable).

Now write down which distinctive signs or names the company is using, whether registered or not. Such signs enjoy protection as trade and service marks upon registration or, where the law so provides, through use even without registration. These may include names of products as long as the name is not just a description of the product (e.g. salt, tissue, good software, fast computers), as well as logos and business names.

Write down any trade secrets; this is information that has commercial value to you, that is not generally known and that a reasonable person could not just figure out. This includes things like product formulas, customer lists, business strategies, plans for technical enhancements to products, etc. Write down anything else you think might be valuable that is intangible.

Finally, write down any contracts that you think might affect the IP assets you have listed (e.g. a consulting contract with the design firm that made your web site, a development agreement with a university, a release from your former employer, non-disclosure agreements, employee agreements).

Now you may wish to show your list to a lawyer and ask him or her for an estimate on what it costs to get an “IP audit”. The purpose of the IP audit is to review what IP the company has and determine how to protect, exploit, and enhance its value. Your lawyer should be someone who is knowledgeable about IP. He or she will advise you as to the best ways to use the legal system to protect your IP from use or theft by competitors and to best exploit it online and off so as to enhance its value as a company asset. If you do not have access to a lawyer, check with your national IP office to see if there are resources to assist you.

For More Information