Protecting intellectual property
Protecting your company’s intellectual property (IP) safeguards both your innovation and investment, and can make you money now and in the future.
What is IP?
A company’s intellectual property (IP) includes a range of valuable business assets:
- Your brand connects you to customers and is representative of your trading goodwill, your reputation and your relationships with stakeholders.
- Trade marks protect your brand and your products – as well as the investment your business has made into these over the years.
- Patents can protect your market position and your investment in research and development and the resulting technology; enabling you to protect your competitive edge and potentially secure higher margins. With Patent Box allowing a 10% rate of tax on income from UK markets, this can also provide you with significant tax savings.
All of these assets need protecting to ensure your business is making the most returns possible.
Now I know what to do, how do I protect it?
- An IP audit will give you a clear overview of what IP you have; how you are currently protecting it – or not – and what you need to do to make sure your rights are as strong as possible.
- Even if you completed an audit a few years ago, you may need another one now. Over time, your business changes. The focus may shift; new products and technologies may be developed; new trade marks acquired and new branding designed. Your company today may look quite different to how it looked five years ago. As your business changes, so does your IP requirements. An IP audit will check your IP protection is as relevant today as it was before – while futureproofing your company for the next five years.
- An audit will also highlight any potential gaps in your IP strategy which may be costing you money. For example, do you need a more robust system in place for capturing innovation? Do you have an effective strategy for deciding how to sell the rights to this innovation; to whom and at what price? Do you know how to identify revenue streams for the most patentable inventions? Are you preventing people using your brand rights overseas in countries where you may or may not be present?
What does an IP audit involve?
Two to three hours of your time is all it will take to set the ball rolling. Depending on the size and structure of your business, one of our highly experienced attorneys will meet with your MD, FD, head of R&D, in-house legal team or another suitable representative from your business to research your current IP portfolio. We will then map this across your business to identify if you have the right protection in place and if there are any gaps in your portfolio.
Our attorney will then write a report in the form of an IP road-map, giving you a clear route to effective IP protection.
Why Barker Brettell?
Our attorneys have years of experience in IP. We have one of the largest teams of IP professionals in the UK, with specialists not just in brands, trade marks, patents, designs and copyright issues but in a wide range of technologies and industries. This means we can select exactly the right attorney to audit your business, based on your structure, your products or service and the markets in which you operate.
What does an IP audit give me?
Our reports can provide you with:
- Peace of mind that you have the right protection in place
- A route to identifying possible gaps in your IP portfolio
- IP security for domestic and overseas markets
- Supporting evidence for future business planning
- Valuable due diligence material for mergers and acquisitions activities