< HOME / news

Intellectual Property: Is IP relevant to your business & should you do something about it?

November 30, 2020

Ian Sterritt
Senior Innovation & Growth Specialist
Whether rapidly growing and needing to ration shareholder investments or bootstrapping your self-funded Start-Up the challenge is no different; what is the point of spending lots of hard-earned cash on attorneys and registration fees? 

Without a clear idea how IP fits in your business strategy you are either wasting money or, worse, could fall foul to some ‘left of field’ unforeseen issue undermining the whole business (10 years of effort down the pan?).For some businesses, it is straight forward.  IP is at the core of what they do and how they do things. Biotech, medical device companies know patent processes very well.  But this can also apply to software developers; anyone whose most critical business assets are intangible.

If you license technology (either as a provider or rely on someone else’s) then IP (patents, copyright etc) should already figure high in your business model.  But, you would be surprised how many businesses don’t think they own IP when in fact just about every business does and things can unravel pretty quickly if you ignore it.

It is not all expensive and legalistic.  There are some forms of IP that are free and some you automatically own.  That does not make them any less valuable.  Take Google, for instance, their most important intellectual asset is undoubtedly their algorithm.  They keep control not by registering it but by limiting access on a need to know basis. 

We never get to see the algorithm when submitting our web search; requests are received by Google, the algorithm applied, and the result sent back.  It is a Trade Secret. Trade Secrets are not registered (otherwise it would not be secret!). 

Their status is underwritten internationally in legislation across Europe, the USA and China.  A Trade Secret has costs already accounted for in its creation and ongoing maintenance.  The value is in the secrecy. The IP Strategy is to guard access to it. Many businesses have Trade Secrets but never give them a second thought (you do lock the factory gates don’t you)?

Building an IP Strategy for any business starts with knowing what intellectual assets you have and use, particularly those aligned with your competitive advantage (USP).  For instance, the name of the company, your brand is an intellectual asset.  You will spend loads of time and marketing investment creating and fostering that vital brand reputation. How do you ensure someone is not stealing your company’s clothes, parading as your business, ‘passing off’?

Registering a Trade Mark is one of the most straightforward and legally sound actions every business should have in place.  Think of this as the title deeds for your brand.  It is simple to do online and is one of the most basic elements of any IP Strategy.  Other stuff to consider include copyright, registering a design, managing IP in other countries, building a franchise and licensing, knowing how to deal with competitive threats (infringements). 

It all can sound very complicated but, to rest at night there is no better time than the present to get something done about it.  If you want to maintain that competitive edge don’t put off your IP Strategy!

If you would like help understanding or creating an IP Strategy just drop us a line.  We’ll be glad to show you how to identify your IP and decide what to do, direct you to relevant resources, guide you to build your own IP Strategy, or hands-on develop it with you.

November 27, 2020
← back to news
Get in touch to find out more
Thank you! We will be in touch shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

More of our news

3 Top Tips When Scaling Your Business
As your business grows, maintaining efficiency becomes critical. Streamline processes, automate where possible, and ensure your operations can handle increased volume without compromising quality. Key actions include
June 13, 2024
Simplify CRM with Bigin by Zoho: The Ultimate CRM Solution for R&D-Focused Small Businesses
At Inventya, we can be your partners in implementing Bigin into your operations, setting your team up with a system tailored to your bespoke business needs while ensuring scalability with your business growth. In essence, our Zoho and digital growth experts will guide you through effective implementation, leaving your team to concentrate on what it does best.
May 23, 2024
Navigating Early-Stage Funding, Financing and Growth: Insights from Phil Crosland, Senior Innovation and Growth Specialist
As most entrepreneurs and innovators are well aware, transforming a concept into a market-ready product is loaded with challenges, especially regarding funding and financing this process. The insights I gleaned from a recent conversation with an expert from the Innovate UK Business Growth Programme, Phil Crosland, shed light on the complicated path many early-stage companies find themselves on, emphasising the critical distinction between growth and scale-up phases and exploring strategies to navigate these challenges.
May 9, 2024
Navigating the risks when scaling a business
Despite the inherent risks, scaling a business quickly is not necessarily a recipe for failure. With careful planning, strategic decision-making, and a focus on sustainability, businesses can mitigate these risks and achieve long-term success. Prioritising quality over quantity, maintaining a customer-centric approach, and ensuring financial prudence are essential principles to guide the scaling process. Moreover, businesses should strive for organic growth that aligns with their core values, vision, and capabilities, rather than succumbing to external pressures or unrealistic expectations.
April 26, 2024
The EIC Pathfinder Programme 2024 – An Overview
If your project has the potential to significantly impact the technological landscape and societal progress, Inventya can be your partner. Our expertise in helping companies write and submit European funding applications positions us uniquely to support your ambitions. We're here to assist in aligning your project with the most suitable EIC Pathfinder opportunity,
April 11, 2024
Strategies for Sustainable Growth when Scaling Your Business
Scaling a business is an exciting but challenging endeavour. It's the phase where your company transitions from a small operation to a larger, more efficient organisation capable of handling increased demand and expanding its market reach. However, scaling isn't just about growing bigger; it's about growing smarter and ensuring that your business remains sustainable in the long run. In this blog, I'll explore some of the best strategies for scaling your business effectively.
April 3, 2024