It is crucial to protect your intellectual property from the outset of a new business venture. Proper protection of your intellectual property not only provides security for the future revenues of your business, it can also help you secure outside investment in your venture, and add value to your company.
Recent research from the Federation of Small Business found that 30 per cent of small businesses are reliant on IP for at least 75 per cent of their revenue.
The company’s brand name and the names of products should be protected by trade marks and the relevant domain names secured as soon as possible. Advice should be taken on filing a patent application for any product involving a new invention, well in advance of any public disclosure of the invention. It may also be possible to file registered design applications to protect the look of the product or its packaging. Registered designs can protect elements of branding as well innovations in the design of products.
Here at Cleveland Scott York, we are able to assist with all aspects of intellectually property and can help you ensure that the strongest possible protections are in place as you start your new business. We are experienced in dealing with start-up companies, and can guide you through the process such that the various steps and associated costs are as transparent as possible.
Initial Free Consultation
We understand that new ventures may have limited funds and so we offer a free half-hour consultations at our UK-based offices, with a practitioner experienced in helping both start-ups and established companies entering new product lines and markets.
A consultation will help identify appropriate actions to safeguard your existing and potential new intellectual property rights and aim to produce a costed action plan. The free advice you will be given will be of high quality, but please note that until you have subsequently been through our formal client engagement process, which involves you accepting our written terms of engagement and various internal checks on our part, you will not be considered a client of the firm.
To apply for this service, please email us with brief details of your requirements and contact details, including an address, a phone number, and details of your business. The right person will then contact you to make the appropriate arrangements.
Cost control and budgeting
Various international treaties and different laws provide a tangled and complicated web of potential paths for the protection of ideas for new ventures. This web of options can be manipulated by our experienced practitioners to help provide certainty in budgeting and, in many cases, to help defer costs until after the early start-up phase. It is often possible also to provide wide potential coverage during this phase to provide maximum deterrent effect before market entry.
Negotiation, licensing and related matters
Some new ventures are operated with the intention of being sold or merged in the near future. This is particularly the case where venture capital funding is involved. Our professionals are very used to dealing with the particular demands that this places on IP strategy. Sometimes the funding requirements of new ventures force a particular filing strategy, including initial filings outside Europe. Again, this is something we can handle comfortably, if needed.
About intellectual property and further information for start ups
Here are some helpful links and suggestions of where to go for free advice:
CITMA – the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys – has produced this video on how to navigate intellectual property law:
CIPA – the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys – has produced this video on the importance of having effective IP protection in place:
ACID – Anti Copying in Design – offers further information about the value of IP protection in the creative industries.
Wenta – This business support organisation offers a range of assistance and advice covering all aspects of starting and running a business in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Enfield.
Local Chambers of Commerce/Enterprise Agencies – these often offer free consultations/seminars covering business issues, including IP.
UK Intellectual Property Office https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office
This is the official government organisation with responsibility for Intellectual Property and there is a lot of information on this site regarding the area, as well as the facility to make your own applications for protection of IP rights. While making your own applications for protection is cheaper than using an attorney, bear in mind that it may not be value for money, as for all IP rights, there is a huge amount of law and practice underpinning the registration process. Professional attorney firms such as Cleveland Scott York are experts in this area and so using our services helps make sure the protection you obtain for your IP is fit for purpose, within the constraints of the relevant laws.