Most businesses own some intellectual property (IP), even if they do not realize it. But most businesses do not fully protect all of their IP. And maybe that is a good thing. For some companies it might not make sense to invest in protecting every single piece of IP that they own. But for most companies, it does make sense to at least identify IP and then make a conscious decision about investing in IP protection.
Budgeting resources to protect and even create IP is most effectively done as part of a larger business plan. There is no sense in protecting something that does not provide value to your business. However, it also does not make sense to fail to protect IP that forms the success of your business. The first step is identifying IP. The second step is incorporating IP protection into your business plan.
Kelly G. Swartz is an intellectual property attorney practicing in Melbourne, FL. She focuses her practice on patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law.