06 September 2019

What does IP strategy mean?

Why do you need to have an IP strategy that is tailored to your business and commercial aspirations? In this article for Business & Innovation Magazine, we explain why an IP strategy is so important.

Intellectual property (IP) is a business asset that can have substantial value and can be used to give you a competitive advantage, build brand recognition and a reputation for innovation, generate income or secure investment and… basically… grow. Is your IP strategy looking its best?

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you know what IP your business has (or could have)?
It can’t add value to, or help to grow, your business if you don’t know it’s there.

Are you aware of all the unregistered IP rights that already exist within your business?
It is rare for a business to have no IP at all.

Do you know when to keep your ideas confidential, and when and how it is safe to share them?
Whether it’s a trade secret or a patentable invention, confidentiality can be a crucial part of your IP strategy.

Do you have registered IP for the key USPs of your business?
Strategic use of registered IP, such as patents, designs and trademarks, can protect your USPs to give you the competitive advantage to grow your business or attract investment.

Are you aware of the tax relief (named Patent Box) available against profits from sales of a patented product?
This applies to even a small part of the product and has the potential to offset, and even by far outweigh, the cost of obtaining a patent.

Do you know how your IP strategy can help to secure funding?
Whether you need to borrow against the value of your IP, secure grant funding or attract investment, the right IP strategy can help, whereas a weak or non-existent IP strategy can be detrimental.

An experienced patent attorney can usually help with at least some of these questions, and that is a good place to start. However, the simple fact is that your IP strategy may need to be considered from several different angles, using the right network of advisers. Mathys & Squire is able to provide a comprehensive and strategic IP management service through its Mathys & Squire Consulting team, in which our experienced IP management specialists help organisations of all types to realise meaningful value from their intangible assets.

This article was published in the September/October 2019 edition of Business & Innovation Magazine.