Tuesday, 17 June 2014

SME clinic: innovation and growth 16 July 2014

This event will help established SMEs and high growth innovative start-ups learn about the importance of design and Intellectual Property (IP) Rights, and how they can be used to innovate, grow and add significant value to your business.

Kirsty Edwards, IP expert
Intellectual Property Office
Andy Cripps, Design Associate
Design Council

You will learn how design can:
– stimulate innovation in different market sectors
– support the development of business strategy
– attract onward investment
– support development of innovative products and services
– increase market share and sustain growth
Then hear from experts on the four main areas of IP:
– trade marks
– patents
– designs
– copyright
and how using them properly will maximise the value of
your business.

Plus: get practical answers to all your design and IP questions with a one-to-one slot with our experts.

This seminar will benefit established SMEs and high growth innovative start-ups who wish to understand more about the added value of design and IP, and how they can help them take the next steps towards growing their business vision and output.

NB: This seminar is not suitable for pre-start-ups

Register your interest in attending here:

For further information call either:
David Hopkins
Business Engagement Manager
Intellectual Property Office
Tel: +44 (0)1633 814041

Ann Crawley
Services Manager
Design Council
Tel: +44 (0)207 420 5221
Intellectual Property

Friday, 2 May 2014

Leeds Inventors Group next meeting 11th June

A great opportunity to mix with other inventors and get advice from people involved in the business of protecting and exploiting new ideas and products. An invited speaker attends each monthly meeting. Open to all. Free admission.

Next meeting: Wednesday 11th June 6pm-7.45pm

Where: Leeds Central library, 3rd Floor Meeting Room

More information and book here: 

For further information tel 0113 2478266 or email bipcleeds@leeds.gov.uk

See the Leeds Inventors Group Blog http://leedsinventorsgroup.blogspot.com/

IP: My What? Why bother? Small businesses and Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property?
If you ask most small businesses about their intellectual property (IP) it’s likely that the majority would say “My what?” or “I don’t get involved in that. I’m just a small business.” The reality is that most small businesses already have intellectual property – and don’t even realise it. They don’t realise that some forms of intellectual property are an automatic right, requiring no application process or fees. They don’t realise that intellectual property is a business asset in the same way that equipment and premises are business assets. It’s just that IP is an intangible asset. It might not be something you can actually touch but it can potentially be the biggest asset that a business – of any size – can have.
So what is IP?
IP is a series of property rights which come from creative (intellectual) work. The main types of IP are:

  • Patents (protecting products which are new or different in the way they work);
  • Trade marks (protecting such things as names, logos, brands and slogans);
  • Registered designs (protecting the shape and appearance of a product);
  • Copyright (protecting a large range of creative works which for many businesses includes such things as website content, promotional literature, photographs and music).

Why bother?
Having IP and being aware of how you can use it often makes it easier to gain investment in your business. IP assets make you more attractive to investors. You may wish to licence your IP to others to generate further income.
Names, logos and slogans
Your business has a name and you provide products or services which may have names. You may have logos and slogans related to them. As customers become more aware of your products and services these names, logos and slogans gain value. The more well-known and reliable your services are the greater the value. The “Coca Cola” name has been valued at around £40 billion – an extreme example but it shows the significance of the name. It is the biggest asset the company has.

Your business / product names, logos and slogans may all be assets you could protect in order to prevent competitors from using something similar. Such protection could prevent others from benefiting from your reputation and taking customers from you. This is the purpose of trade marks.

Your website
If your business has a website, the content of the website is protected automatically by copyright. The big question is – who does that copyright belong to? In the first instance copyright always belongs to the person who creates the work so if you create your own website you will own the copyright. If someone else designs the content for you they will own the copyright – and paying them does not give you the copyright. It needs to be transferred, or “assigned” to you in writing. So do you own your website or does a web designer own it? If you use photographs or music on your site do you own them? If you didn’t create them do you have licences to use them? The same applies to any creative work done for you by someone outside your business. Do you actually own what you think you own?

©   ™   ®

New products
If you develop or manufacture new products yourself an awareness of patents and registered designs can be beneficial – not only in terms of protecting what you have but also as a means of finding out what your competitors are doing. By keeping an eye on newly published patent specifications you can monitor new developments in your area of business. 

So before you dismiss intellectual property as something which doesn’t concern you think about whether adding value to your business is important to you; consider whether avoiding infringing the rights of others is significant and ponder on whether increasing your awareness of your competitors would be useful.

If the answer is yes, then intellectual property is important to you. If you’d like to be enlightened further contact or visit us......

Business & IP Centre Leeds
Leeds Central library
Calverley Street

Tel:  0113 2478266

Email: bipcleeds@leeds.gov.uk