Forresters speak at Enterprise European Network


Intellectual Property Seminar

Forresters was invited to speak at an Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) seminar on the topic of “Intellectual Property for Innovation”.   The seminar took place on 8 December 2016 at the TechnoCentre, Coventry University Technology Park.

Janette Hamer, Jack Gunning and Jagvir Purewal explained the different types of IP with a particular emphasis on Patents, Designs, Trade marks and Copyright.  All companies – from the largest corporations, SMEs and start-ups – have IP in at least one of these categories and the Forresters team addressed how to use IP rights to achieve commercial objectives.

Historically, UK companies have been slow to grasp the importance of IP to their business. A UK IPO survey of businesses conducted in 2015 found that 96% of respondents had not valued their IP and around 79% did not know that disclosing an invention publically may rule out patent protection for it.  IP rights are widely seen as crucial in a knowledge economy like the UK and so there is clearly some progress that needs to be made to ensure UK companies are making the most of their IP.

Forresters explored how IP rights give the owner a monopoly right to stop third parties from exploiting the same rights without the owner’s permission.  For example, registered trade marks help protect against a company’s brand, name and its reputation being imitated or taken advantage of by competitors.  Registered design rights protect the look of a company’s products and apply to a wide range of goods – from tablets and smart phones through to the more mundane like door handles and kitchenware.  Patents are perhaps the most well-known IP right.  Patents cover a wide range of inventions.  These could include the way in which a product works, a novel material / chemical, a manufacturing process, or a method of doing a technical task.

Forresters also addressed how IP rights can be used in a positive way to increase revenue streams whether that be through tax relief, commercial investment or building strategic partnerships with other companies.

Increasingly, in the current economic climate, a company must understand not only how its IP can be best harnessed but what the right strategy is for its needs.  Without doing so, a company could incur needless IP costs or not be protecting the activities that are most crucial for the success and future growth of the company.  We pride ourselves on expert advice in this area under our “Clear Direction” ethos and discussed how a company should go about devising its IP strategy.

Innovate2Success scheme and IP Audit part-subsidised funding

On the day, Europe Enterprise Network (which is part of Innovate UK) talked about its new Innovate2Success scheme aimed at innovative high growth SMEs.  Under the scheme, a company can obtain free expert consultancy advice on various topics, e.g. internal processes around IP management, access to finance and identifying new markets.

EEN has been selected to manage the UK IPO’s IP Audit Programme for England.  Under this scheme, EEN can select companies for this programme to obtain £2600 of funding from the UKIPO for an IP professional to conduct an IP Audit in exchange for a payment of £400 (both figures include VAT).   This could be particularly attractive for SMEs looking to consider their IP for the first time or to revisit their IP needs.

If you would like further details of the event or the Innovate2Success / IP Audit scheme please contact your usual Forresters contact.