Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Leeds Inventors Group 20-02-08 - Mark Philmore

Leeds Inventors Group 20-02-08 “Insuring Your Invention” Mark Philmore of MFL Ltd

Mark is a Chartered Insurance Broker and through the services of MFL Science & Technology Insurance Brokers attempts to, as he put it, “level the playing field”.

Mark pointed out that the presence of Intellectual Property (IP) – patents, trade marks, designs and copyright – significantly increases the value of a business. However, exploiting an idea will always involve risk. If a patent is infringed and it goes to court, costs can be substantial – from
tens of thousands to, in some cases, a million. Having IP insurance can help put off infringers – it lets them know that you intend to assert your rights. And if the case does go to court it means that the individual or small company has a better chance of fighting off a larger company with substantial resources.

Mark went through the various options for cover from self-insuring to the most expensive “After the event” cover. He also explained that any claim would be carefully assessed by the insurer. There will always be a clause which states that costs will be covered if there is a chance of winning the case. If it looks like there’s no chance they won’t do it. It’s normal in these situations to get opinions from IP lawyers.

IP insurance plays a significant part in the process of protecting a new product or service but it is one that is frequently overlooked.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Venturefest Yorkshire 2008 York Racecourse 6th Feb 2008

Venturefest Yorkshire 2008 York Racecourse 6th Feb 2008

Venturefest is a free annual one-day event sponsored by some of the region’s largest organisations including Yorkshire Forward. Taking up three floors of the main building at York Racecourse it’s an opportunity to gain support and advice and make contacts – whether you’re an individual, a start-up or established business. It’s now in it’s fifth year and has been hailed by Doug Richards of “Dragons’ Den” as the “best in the country”.

At the 2008 event, service providers including solicitors and patent agents, product development and marketing experts, investors and universities manned the numerous stands on the various floors. Researchers from BBC’s “Dragons’ Den” were there to find participants for the next series. Throughout the day speakers gave presentations on a variety of topics including marketing, how to prevent someone stealing your secrets and the best ways to try to secure investment.

There were competitions for young entrepreneurs and an Innovation Showcase of over 40 small businesses which also offered a prize to what was judged to be the business showing the best future growth potential in the innovation, science and technology sectors.

Staff from Business & Patent Information Services joined staff from the UK Intellectual Property Office (formerly the Patent Office) on their stand on the ground floor. We spoke to a large number of people and provided information on protecting inventions, brands and creative works, as well as business information resources.

With such a wide variety of companies attending the event, Venturefest is certainly worth a visit.