Intellectual property and business plans.

You know what a good business plan is, right? A business plan is a description of how you want to build your company. In the business plan, you want to explain what customers you want to target via which marketing channels, what makes you different from competitors, who the management team is, how you are going to make a profit, and what the milestones are for achieving your business plan. So, in a nutshell a good business plan follows the story of your business.

Why do you need a business plan for intellectual property?


You want to make money. Intellectual property helps you make money by creating worth in the intangibles of your business. Your inventions are protected by patents. Your brands are protected as trademarks. Your work is protected under copyright law.

Your business plan needs to talk about intellectual property and your intellectual property lawyer needs to know how you’re going to monetize, else your intellectual property will not have the right value or worth.

A lightly-edited transcript of the vlog appears below:

Hi, I’m Anthony Verna, managing partner of Verna Law, P.C., where we focus on IP and Advertising Law. But you probably knew that because this is about the sixth video blog I’ve done.

Yesterday, I had a dinner with a law firm from Brazil. The two partners are patent attorneys and we were talking about relevant issues between our clients. They said something magical to me. They said that if their clients are startups, they want to see a business plan. Funny, when my clients are startups, what do I ask them for? I say, “Please show me your business plan.” Or, “Please tell me your business plan.” “Please describe your business plan to me.”

Why? Because intellectual property goes hand in hand with, of course, making money. If your business doesn’t have a plan for how you’re going to make money, your business doesn’t have a plan for how your intellectual property is going to be valued.

And you may ask yourself, “That might make sense, but I’m still not completely sure about that.”

Let me explain to you, especially on the trademark side, if there’s a company out there that’s infringing upon your brand and upon your trademark, well you need to have a registered in order to really truly ask for damages like attorneys fees, and lost sales. You really need that registration. If you are not making money, then what are your lost sales from the infringer’s sales. If your patent is not used in business, then then what good is it to you if your copyright is not being used to make money, what good is it for you? So I’m thrilled that my international colleagues are asking the same thing of their clients that I’m asking of my clients.

Show me your business plan because we have to make the registration worthwhile.

We have to make the enforcement worthwhile if we’re going to license or if you’re going to take a license, we need to make that worthwhile. And the only way that we’re going to make that worthwhile is this blend of business and law actually coming together. So make a business plan. See a business consultant and make sure that you have a business plan. You know, I’ll gladly talk to you before you have a business plan, but there might not be action before you have a business plan. Get that business plan and then we’ll get your IP solidified.