Square Solar Inc.
Intellectual property is a collective concept that includes the rights that regulate relations in the development of the products of intellectual labor, their exchange, or their use. It involves copyright and related rights, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial design, patents, and any proprietary information (USPTO, n.d.). Companies that use innovative technologies and occupy an influential market niche have to take care of the security of the brand and the unique characteristics of the product. Speaking of Square Solar, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of protecting intellectual property. Getting energy from renewable sources has only recently become a general procedure but is already rapidly gaining popularity, becoming the preferred source of energy supply (Nielsen, 2010). Due to many promotional movements and rising demand trends, solar energy is successfully competing with traditional power. It is essentially important to maintain brand and product patents in an increasingly competitive environment.
As a technology company as well as a business, Square Solar has a range of intellectual assets. First, there are the marketing components, such as Square Solar likely owning a trademark to its name, matching its product. The name also appears on the website, the URL domain which they have bought. The company also has a designed logo in the form of a stylized ‘S,’ looking as if multiple interconnected squares. Therefore, the company owns the brand and all of its related components, as well as other marketing and promotional materials such as photos of its products, instructional schematics, and 3-D renderings that are used on its website and social media pages (Square Solar, n.d.). There may be other business/marketing intellectual assets for the company, such as an email marketing list, a list of customers that have pre-ordered the product, as well as any in-house processes in attracting consumers or investors.
The major intellectual asset for Square Solar is its product. At the same time, solar panels themselves are not innovative technology, the proprietary technology that Square Solar utilizes in the form of detachable and mobile small-size solar panels that connect with each other to form larger panels. Specifically, the modular design of the product, both in its industrial design and customizable concept, as well as the technology behind it, would be considered intellectual assets (CFI, n.d.). More accurately, the configuration of the three types of solar tiles that are combined in a pattern to maximize energy flow and deliver it to the source. The technology that can be considered an intellectual asset is both the one used in the manufacturing of the product along with the one that makes the functionality of the device application.
The Intellectual Property Security and Profit from It for the Company
The company’s official website says that the trademarks, slogans, characters, and other products and promotions belong exclusively to Square Solar and its subsidiaries. Everything is legally protected from copying and imitation procedures with national and international trademark and copyright laws. The website’s intellectual property contains text, audio, images, and other materials referred to as content. All content is also copyrighted as collaborative intellectual work. Any reproduction, modification, copying, or use of the material on any other server without the express written consent of Square Solar is strictly prohibited (Square Solar, n.d.). Violation of all of the above warnings may result in litigation and monetary penalties. Given the fact that this is a solar energy-focused company, keeping any information secure is critical as the industry is not yet overloaded and risks spontaneous competition and market refocus.
Successful ideas in any field always have a risk be copied. The company’s activities are focused primarily on the creation and development of creative and technological solutions. Some aspects of intellectual property are often not considered an asset that also needs protection from encroachment by third parties. Intellectual property protection prevents damage from the actions of competitors or unscrupulous customers. In conditions of the heavy workload of the market and intense competition, such protection of ownership is critical. In addition, the patent helps to increase the capitalization of the enterprise. Capitalization is carried out for the accounting on the balance sheet of intangible assets at the current value. The successful experience of foreign and domestic companies has shown that the capital formed as a result of capitalization provides an effective transfer of intellectual property into a commercial basis. As a result, it leads to a significant increase in overall profitability, increases the amount of passive income, and positively affects the added value of the product (MagePlaza, 2022). Subsidizing in this company is a good investment, as there is a prospect to profit from both tangible and intangible (intellectual) assets.
Square Solar seems to be a solid start-up business, being transparent about all aspects of its products and business model. Some recommendations could either improve or protect Square Solar going forward. First, from a legal perspective, it is critical the company patent any proprietary and unique technology it uses. It is best to patent it in multiple countries, particularly in China, where similar products may appear at a lower cost. The primary issue is that the concept itself seems very simple to imitate. While the technology behind it may be more complicated, it is crucial to patent both the utility and design of the product in the form factor in which it is now (CFI, n.d.). That is assuming that the product is unique to the market and introduces a new proof of concept in terms of design, processes, technology, composition, or significant improvement over traditional solar panels of a smaller scale (USPTO, n.d.). In addition, any information that is in open and closed access has to be covered by copyright regulations from copying and illegal distribution.
Nielsen, T. D., Cruickshank, C., Foged, S., Thorsen, J., Krebs, F. C. (2010). Business, market and intellectual property analysis of polymer solar cells. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, (94)10, pp. 1553-1571. Web.
CFI. (n.d.). Product differentiation. Web.
MagePlaza. (2022). How to use preorders to supercharge your ecommerce sales? Web.
Square Solar. (n.d.). About. Web.
USPTO. (n.d.). Determine the type of intellectual property protection that you need. Web.