KZN Business Chambers Council
KZN Business Sense

KZN Business Sense News

Back to overview


Alta Keyter - What Is Intellectual Property

Amit K Mehta said, "If you want to be an entrepreneur, it's not a job, it's a lifestyle.

Everyone has an idea, but very few possess the courage and passion to execute it. Ideas makes no any difference only the courageous people who are having the heart of taking risk, makes the difference with big ideas."

The theme of the 2018 Manufacturing Indaba was the 4th Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). The Fourth Industrial Revolution describes the exponential changes to the way we live, work and relate to one another due to the adoption of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Systems. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is disrupting almost every industry in every country and creating massive change in a non-linear way at unprecedented speed.

Craig Wing, a futurist and business strategist, spoke at the Indaba and said according to the World Economic Forum the top skills in 2015 were coordinating with others, people management, quality control and active listening. In 2020 to stay relevant considering the 4th Industrial Revolution we will need to develop complex problemsolving skills, critical thinking, creativity and cognitive flexibility.

As entrepreneurs we apply our creativity to solve a problem. Is our creativity our intellectual property?

What is intellectual property?
According to the South African Law Society, Intellectual Property is, "A category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect, and primarily encompasses copyrights, patents, and trademarks. It also includes other types of rights, such as trade secrets, publicity rights, moral rights, and rights against unfair competition."

If you've ever developed a new product or formulated a new business idea, you've most likely grappled with the question of whether you should protect it legally in some way. It can be a confusing issue and many of the entrepreneurs I meet don't seem to have a solid grasp of how, why and when to protect their ideas, or if it's even necessary.

How do you protect your creativity?
Standardise the idea with a standards association, so that others are blocked from creating such an idea.
Having relentless innovation cycles keeps your competitors constantly catching up. It does require your company to belean and fast.
Separation of duties is a basic tenet of information security.
It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to build a competitive advantage is to open-source your technology and tap into a broad community of developers.
Avoid joint ownership.
If you can, one of the best intellectual property securement methods for trademarks (that you own) is an exact-match domain name. E.g. #resultsmarketing #marketingresults
Safeguard with strong access control.
Get strong non-disclosure agreements.
Keep it quiet and out of sight.
Another common way to ensure that your IP is seen as yours is to publish and reference it widely, always ensuring that your company's name is attributed to where it is mentioned.
Your business is a result of your creativity. Protect early. Protect creatively. Protect carefully.

Please share your experience by emailing me at
T: 081 895 9605

 Alta Keyter - What Is Intellectual Property.PNG

Back to overview