Let’s have a look at Intellectual Property and how to use them as an accelerator for business growth. Both concepts are often seen as not compatible. However, mixing both strategies are an important factor for profitable businesses.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an UN agency based in Geneva (Switzerland), “Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce” .

This basically means that Intellectual Property is the result of an intellectual process,. It is intangible by its nature and belongs to its creator.

It may refer to an invention, a piece of art, a design or a brand among others. Contrary to the general assumption, an idea as such cannot be subject of an Intellectual Property right. In general terms, Intellectual Property rights can be assigned to the original, distinctive or inventive materialization of an idea.


Almost everything can constitute or be the result of Intellectual Property. When certain conditions are fulfilled at the time of its creation or disclosure, simple objects whose value is defined by their aesthetic appearance (industrial designs), brands (trademarks), machines or devices that performs technical or technological functions (patents) as well as books and paintings but also databases, software and music (copyrights) can be protected as Intellectual Property.

In some cases, as it happens for patents, trademarks or industrial designs, said conditions must be evaluated by a public authority. Such a Patent and Trademark Office will afterwards grant a registration certificate conferring the corresponding rights to its originator. In other cases, as it happens for copyrights, Intellectual Property exists for the mere fact of the creation (a song, a book, a software, a database, etc).

Relevant enough, depending on the specific Intellectual Property right obtained, its owner/creator will be granted an exclusivity to use it and dispose of it in the market. In general, said exclusivity is granted during a limited period of time. This period will eventually depend on the kind of right and on the geographical scope of protection conferred or obtained.

As a result, during the term of protection, Intellectual Property rights owners can use and exploit their rights. And, most importantly, they can prohibit third parties to use and exploit them at any time.


In a free market, Intellectual Property is a powerful anomaly: it creates monopolies and, therefore, competitive advantages for its owners.

The competitive advantage depends on the protectability of the creation. As said, almost everything can be Intellectual Property but not everything can fulfil the conditions to be protected as such.

Once the Intellectual Property right has been established, e.g. by registering the corresponding right before the public authority of the territory of protection, it should also be established whether it can become a competitive advantage for the market sector where its owner is active. Or in the market territory where he wants to participate.

Moreover, the scope of the competitive advantage will be as great as the scope of protection that has been assigned to the concrete right involved. It can be little (e.g. Patent protection granted to a slight modification of an existing machine that better performs a certain specific function). Or it can be big enough to exclude all possible competitors from a specific market sector.


Growth hackers deliver a fast business growth, using creative and agile techniques. They also push hard on creation and valorisation of businesses assets, the easiest way as possible and, if possible, at a low price. However, growth hackers doesn’t seem to realise what Intellectual Property actually is, and how they can use is to reach business growth.

Strangely enough, no growth hacker seriously developed a methodology that combined Intellectual Property with a marketing approach. In other words, growth hackers never used Intellectual Property as a tool for business acceleration in a marketing context.

Indeed, this can be explained by several reasons. On the one hand, Intellectual Property expertise has historically been more oriented to the legal sector rather than on the marketing one. Very seldom, these two categories of experts have interacted between each other since the very beginning of the consulting process. On the other hand, Intellectual Property can be a limitation for creative marketeers. And at the same time, marketing strategies are not the natural domain of rigid lawyers.

However, potential Intellectual Property infringements stopped important marketing campaigns already often. It is also not rare to hear that developpers discovered there was no market fit for there revolutionary and unique product. Even when those products materialized in strong Intellectual Property protection.


In both cases above, early integration of Intellectual Property into the growth hacking/marketing and sales strategy would make the difference. It helps the establishment of a successful and fast business growth. And also important: it causes an important cost saving.

Combining Intellectual Property and marketing expertise immediatly customises the processes of product creation and development. It avoids existing barriers due to the pre-existence of someone else’s Intellectual Property. At the same time, it allows the marketing strategy to be better focused since it is easier, faster and cheaper to promote a product that has no competition. Even if only certain aspects are protected, it can nonetheless be commercially relevant. Eventually, such expertise combination can help preventing companies to invest money in developing products, brands or other kind of intellectual assets that will not likely have a successful market fit.

Summing up, early integration of Intellectual Property and marketing techniques within the context of a growth hacking is the key. This strategy will launch your product into a successful and profitable business.


This post was written by Fabrizio Miazzetto – IP attorney and co-founder #NotOnlyIdeas . Contact him in our Madrid office!

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