Angie Verrecchio Talks IP with Philadelphia Smart CEO

For its article “No Trespassing: How to Play Offense and Defense in a Competitive Market,” Philadelphia SmartCEO quoted Akin Gump intellectual property senior counsel Angie Verrecchio on navigating intellectual property law and discovering the right options based on a company’s needs.

The article notes that intellectual property (IP) is one of the strongest options available for businesses looking for protection from their competitors. However, “IP is a broad category that includes patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade dress and design patents,” according to Verrecchio, and although “patents make up the bulk of what people think of when they think of IP… some businesses are sophisticated enough that they seek to cover their technology in a variety of different ways.”

The article continues to note that IP can be difficult to navigate without the assistance of a professional. To that, Verrecchio says, “[CEOs] shouldn’t feel bad about being overwhelmed; IP law is its own beast. They should … rely on someone they trust that is knowledgeable about IP. IP law can be very complicated, and there are nuances to it, so seeking counsel early and often is helpful.”

Verrecchio goes on to say that patents are typically thought to be the most powerful form of protection but there are other IP options available including trademarks and copyrights. “Most people would probably say patents are the most important. That’s true [for] biotech companies [and] computer science companies. But to a company selling handbags and shoes, design patents or trademarks might be more important to them. It will depend on what the business is and what their [goals are].”

The article concludes that companies should assess all of their options with a professional before making a decision regarding protection for their intellectual property. Verrecchio urges CEOs to note that a “patent is a business tool. That’s all it really is. It provides a company or a person the ability to prevent someone else from practicing an invention that’s claimed in the patent. So it’s a tool that, if you assert it, [will give] you the ability to prevent your competitor from coming into the market. If you’re not going to assert your IP, you have to think about whether it’s really worth it to you to have it.”