Solar Impulse 2 touched down in Chongqing Jiangbei International, China, early yesterday morning and by doing so completed the 5th leg of its 35,000 km circumnavigation of our planet. Once again I’ve been utterly fascinated by the journey, and the sheer elegance of the idea and its design.
Behind it all: over 12 years of development; 50 engineers and technicians; 80 partners with different and varied experience, resources, and know-how; over 100 advisers and suppliers…. Everything in the ‘plane has been researched, re-designed and redeveloped. And in order to make the research viable for so many partners the intellectual property involved has been protected where appropriate.
I.P. can be a massive asset of any business and yet seems, all too often, to be overlooked or just not thought through properly. Businesses all types are often unclear on what their I.P. actually is, who owns it, and whether or not it can be exploited commercially. Yet most businesses will have websites, logos, branding, brochures and corporate information, never mind proprietary new technology. The formal protection of copyrights, design rights, trade marks and patents may all be relevant. Even an idea can be afforded decent protection via a non-disclosure contract.
Even if you haven’t got 100’s of people working on your idea or your I.P., still think about protecting it properly. You might just go global….