In today's global business, sustaining a competitive position is a supreme concern. Competition within the small and medium business industry is intense with many competitors. The ability of a firm to survive depends on how the firm takes advantage of the opportunities in the market place to satisfy its customers. Many companies have demonstrated their capabilities of being been sensitive to their customers by trying to understand customers’ needs and customers’ complaint taking initiatives to meet those needs.
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There are four major legal tools for establishing ownership of the inventions, innovations, and intellectual properties which are patents, trademarks, copyrights and registered designs. According to the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department, the definitions of the tools are as following:
Patent – protects your invention by giving you, the patent owner, a legal right to prevent others from manufacturing, using, selling or importing your patented invention.
Trademark – a sign that distinguishes the goods and services of one trader from those of others. Typically a trademark can be words (including personal names), indications, designs, letters, characters, numerals, figurative elements, colors, sounds, smells, the shape of the goods or their packaging or any combination of these. A sign must be capable of being represented graphically in order for it to be registered as a trademark.
Copyright – the right given to the owner of an original work. This right can subsist in literary works such as writing, software, musical works, dramatic works.