Because intellectual property is not a physical asset, it can easily be overlooked. Safeguarding a company’s intellectual property is crucial to developing and maintaining a successful business, however.
Yet a company’s use of its intellectual property can result in high-stakes battles. This past year top U.S. politicians criticized the very name of a NFL team, the Washington Redskins, and last month the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trial and Appeal Board cancelled federal protection for its trademarks, saying they disparage Native Americans. The team is appealing this decision, which has implications for its sale of merchandise.