Andrew Rapacke is a Registered Patent Attorney at The Rapacke Law Group P.A. an intellectual property law firm with a focus on the toy space.
With the New York Toy Fair around the corner, companies across the globe will soon be pouring in to see what the new toys and youth entertainment products inventors have to offer. As business owners prepare to roll out their new products, it’s important to make sure that their company is best situated for success. While engaging in a manner most likely to lead to success is critical for any company, it is even more important for toy entrepreneurs for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, all too frequently costly mistakes are made. Here are five mistakes that I see toy companies make far too often.
Mistake 1: Underestimating The Importance Of Intellectual Property
Most toy companies don’t spend enough time focusing on their Intellectual Property, mainly because they think it is just a legal matter. Often, companies will spend too much of their time creating a product and working on its execution, and too little time on thinking about how to protect what they are creating.
Intellectual Property can turn into your best asset, but only if you plan ahead. As companies build their brand, they fail to realize that patents, copyrights and trademarks will protect and ensure their brand for the long run. Valuation experts estimate that intellectual property represents the largest asset class held by American companies (representing 40 percent of the value of all assets). Companies need to stop thinking about IP as just a legal issue, and understand it is as a business issue. The right intellectual property protection can create tremendous value. Considering that intellectual property assets represent such a large asset class, it needs to be included in your business plan. Do not assume you can circle back later. With many forms of intellectual property protection you need to act early or opportunity will be lost.