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Scaling up using your intellectual property (IP)

Business team using IP to scale up

When it comes to scaling up a business, one potentially valuable asset class that often gets overlooked is the company’s intellectual property and intangible assets (IP).

IP refers to intangible creations of the mind, such as patents, designs, trade marks, brand names, copyright, trade secrets and some other rarer knowledge assets. Leveraging your IP can be a game-changer in accelerating growth and staying ahead of the competition. In this article, we’ll explore how harnessing your intellectual property can also help you effectively scale up your business.

Establishing a strong IP strategy

Before diving into scaling up using your IP, it’s crucial to have a clear IP strategy in place. This strategy should align with your overall business objectives and focus on protecting and maximizing the value of your IP assets. Here are some key steps to consider:

Identify your IP assets

Start by identifying all the potentially valuable IP assets your business possesses. These could include patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, or other proprietary technology or processes.

Protect your IP

Once you’ve identified your IP assets, take the necessary steps to make sure you have the highest levels of protections possible. This may involve obtaining patents, registering trade marks, or implementing robust internal processes to safeguard trade secrets.

Leverage licensing opportunities

Consider licensing your IP to other businesses or individuals. This can create additional revenue streams without requiring significant investment on your part. You might allow companies in countries you don’t plan to operate in to use your IP. Or you could license your IP to companies in non-competing business sectors that could benefit from it. Or, if you have a famous brand, you could license its use for toys, games or household goods.

Explore collaborations

Look for strategic partnerships and collaborations where your IP can be mutually beneficial. This could involve joint ventures, co-branding initiatives, or technology-sharing agreements. As with licensing, you can increase revenue potential for IP you already own; but such deals may also create new IP for you and your partners.

Monitor and enforce

IP is valuable; protect it. With things like patents, trade marks and copyright, you need to be watching for any potential infringements on your IP rights. If you spot any, then you need to take appropriate action to enforce your rights and protect your IP from unauthorized use.

With trade secrets, as we’ve already said, you need to have robust systems in place to keep them secret – and to react if there are any apparent breaches of confidentiality.

Scaling up through innovation

How to protect your intellectual property with automatic rights and other forms protection strategies 

Innovation is at the heart of scaling up using your IP. By continuously improving and expanding your IP portfolio, you can drive growth and further differentiate yourself from competitors. Here’s how you can leverage your IP to fuel innovation:

Research and development

Research and development (R&D) spending should focus on enhancing existing IP assets or creating new ones. Either can lead to breakthrough products or services that attract new customers and open up new markets.

Market expansion

Use your IP as a springboard to enter new markets – which could be in other countries, or other industry sectors.  You IP, by definition, is unique – it is what gives you a competitive edge over rivals. Leverage the credibility and reputation you have built up through your IP and your­­­ brand to expand geographically or into new business sectors.

Product line extensions

Develop new products or services based on your existing IP assets. By leveraging the knowledge and expertise already embedded in your IP, you can efficiently expand your product offerings and cater to evolving customer needs.

Strategic partnerships

Collaborate with other businesses, startups, or academic institutions to explore sharing complementary IP assets. Such partnerships can turbo-boost innovation, exploit synergies, and accelerate growth for all parties involved.

Leveraging IP for marketing and branding

How to protect your intellectual property with registered IP rights

Your IP can be a powerful tool for marketing and branding, helping you build a strong and recognizable presence in the market based around product or service superiority backed up by innovation. Here’s how you can utilize your IP to enhance your marketing efforts:

Brand identity

Your trademarks, designs and logos are valuable assets that represent your brand. Incorporate them consistently across all marketing channels to reinforce brand identity and improve brand recall. If you have patented technology, make sure your customers know that and how it gives you an advantage over rivals.

Content creation

Use your IP to generate compelling and informative content that positions your brand and the key personnel behind it as industry leaders. This could include whitepapers, case studies, blog posts, or (for key individuals) thought leadership articles, speaking engagements, guest blogging, or taking part in industry conferences and events.

Social proof

We live in a social media world. Use social channels to share and amplify testimonials or success stories that showcase how your IP has delivered practical value to your customers. This social proof enhances your credibility and builds trust among potential customers.


Scaling up using your intellectual property is a strategic approach to accelerating growth, fostering innovation, and building a strong brand. By establishing a robust IP strategy, leveraging licensing opportunities, fuelling innovation, and exploiting your IP for marketing purposes, you can unlock the full potential of your business. Remember, effective utilisation of your IP can give you a competitive edge and help propel your business to new heights.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. For specific legal guidance related to intellectual property, it is recommended to consult with a qualified professional or contact Inngot to discuss IP strategy, services and IP finance.


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