< 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

Credit Data Research and Inventya launch 360° Financial Plan powered by Credit Passport Plan in the UK
Empowering SMEs for financial prosperity, the strategic partnership between Credit Data Research (CDR) and Inventya plugs a significant gap in financial tools for SMEs. Combining Inventya's extensive network and operational expertise with Credit Data Research's innovative technology, particularly in Open Banking applications, this collaboration is a definitive game-changer.
February 20, 2024
Invitation to Tender: Business Data and Insights Platform
Inventya is a consultancy that supports innovators to grow and scale by commercialising new products, services and innovation. Supporting clients to secure future funding and finance, to enter new markets, protect their IP and ensure their projects comply with funders and stakeholder requirements
February 19, 2024
Would You Lend Your Business Money? 3 Crucial Questions Businesses Must Ask Before Applying for a Loan
In the UK, the business financing scene is witnessing a marked transformation. The year 2022 saw UK SMEs secure bank loans totalling a noteworthy £65.1 billion, a 12.8% rise from the previous year, indicating an escalated reliance on external financial sources. A significant 36% of these SMEs have been leaning on such financing, typically borrowing over £25,000.
February 8, 2024
EIC Accelerator Challenges 2024
The European Innovation Council (EIC) has unveiled its 2024 Work Programme, allocating over €1.2 billion for strategic technologies and scaling up companies that can have a major impact on EU objectives. This funding is primarily aimed at SMEs and start-ups, especially in the realm of “deep tech” innovations. Here’s an overview of the key challenge areas:
January 23, 2024
Securing Investment in an Adverse Climate: Strategies for Preparing, Targeting and Submitting your Pitch
In the current economic climate, attempting to secure investment is an understandably daunting task. For entrepreneurs and business leaders, the landscape is indisputably challenging, but with informed strategies and preparation, it's possible to find and secure support from the ideal investors for your business proposition.
January 12, 2024
5 Business Resolutions In 2024 - New Year, New Business Priorities
As we step into 2024, another increasingly essential component of business strategy is sustainability. As the necessity for increased environmental stewardship mounts, many companies are taking proactive steps. However, 2023 has also witnessed the rising issue of ‘Greenwashing’, which is a serious risk if companies aren’t willing to implement sustainability into the core of their business strategy. PR/Marketing-related sustainability stunts are becoming easier and easier to spot, and this may be worse for your business reputation in the long run than doing nothing at all.
December 29, 2023