Checklist of issues in managing IP rights in advertising

The checklist below highlights different issues that should be taken into consideration in managing IP rights in the advertising business. 

1. Identification of intangible assets. In the first place, it is important to analyze the business to determine the intangible assets, which create its value. So, all possible intangible value drivers should be compiled and listed. 

2. To analyze if some intangible assets may be protected as intellectual property rights. It is important to identify which of them can be protected by a legal instrument. For example, a system for quality control is an intellectual asset but not IP. But if an advertising agency creates a slogan it can be protected as IP. It is also important to clearly identify who owns IP: the original creator, the advertising firm or the firm’s client. It is necessary to identify the legal standing of the various types of intangible and IP assets. For example, copyright has legal protection simply by the fact of its creation.

3. Valuation of IP assets. To ensure optimum management of IP assets, it is necessary to determine their monetary value. Various factors should be considered in this process, such as forward-looking forecasts, research and data collection, valuation methodology (cost, market, income methods).

4. After identifying and valuing the agency’s IP assets, decisions have to be made about the most gainful use of such assets. It is useful and beneficial for an agency to take the necessary steps to protect its IP rights. Well-defined and properly protected IP rights represent a competitive advantage for which clients are ready to pay a premium price. 

It should not be forgotten that IP rights are intangible assets that can be used simultaneously by many users and can generate income from multiple sources. If the agency decides to keep the IP rights, it should consider different ways of exploitation, such as: using the created output as a creative impulse for a different campaign; licensing concepts to other clients; using successful brands to promote the agency.

And last but not least, trust the protection of IP rights only to professionals.


Note: the information for this article was taken from WIPO’s research.

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