We have a proud history of supporting young and growing businesses with the provision of practical advice to protect brands, products and ideas.
Developing a well-balanced IP portfolio can give you the competitive edge and increase the market share of your business. But there are many pitfalls for the uninitiated. Having an IP strategy from the outset – which need not be complex – plus professional advice is essential.
We appreciate that many new and growing companies have tight budgets to generate, protect and commercialise their IP. Faced with such constraints, we understand the need for practical, achievable and timely advice, tailored to individual business needs. Our attorneys and solicitors can provide advice on how best to minimize costs without compromising your commercial aims.
Taking your ideas further
We first seek to understand your commercial objectives before working with you to implement a fully aligned IP strategy. With a suitable strategy in place, we can assist with securing and enforcing your IP rights, such as filing for patents, designs, trade marks and domain names.
We frequently handle ownership and confidentiality agreements, for example to cover R&D collaborations to ensure that the ownership of IP generated from joint ventures is correctly apportioned. We are able to advise on best practice for the documentation of development work and contributors (investors, designers, etc) and can conduct searches to clear significant brand, product and design choices.
We also regularly assist our clients on issues relating to due diligence. Whether providing an internal portfolio review for the board, or an independent assessment of third party IP, we can assist you in all aspects of due diligence to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.
Key services to start ups and SMEs include
- Brand strategy and protection
- Company name disputes
- Copyright advice
- Domain name protection and disputes
- Due diligence on IP rights
- IP exploitation advice
- IP portfolio strategy and management
- IP right clearance and searching, freedom to operate advice
- License franchise and co-existence agreements
- Patent, drafting and filing for protection in the UK, Europe and worldwide
- Patent and trade mark watching services
- R&D, co-operation and related agreements
- Trade mark filing, registration and prosecution in all relevant jurisdictions
Aligning IP strategy to business growth
We have grown with several companies from start-up or very small companies through their SME phase to initial public offering (IPO) and beyond. In recent years we marked the 20th anniversary of our relationship with one major client - when we started working together the business was just twelve people in a converted barn. Today the business is one of the world's most respected tech companies with a market capitalisation of over £4 billion.
Brand creation and R&D IP ownership
We gave an innovative UK engineering company, with no existing IP, step-by-step guidance on how to implement a suitable IP strategy for an SME in its infancy. A key action was advising the client in their handling of agreements to cover R&D collaboration so that ownership of the IP generated from their joint venture was correctly apportioned. We also provided "knock-out" and "full" searches to check that their logo was not identical or similar to a competitor's trade mark. The trade mark and domain name were registered and a watching service set up to help stop competitor threats to brand reputation in the future.
IP audit and due diligence
This client in the luxury goods sector needed to conduct a due diligence project in order to attract further investment and secure licensing and sale opportunities. We worked with this client to provide an internal portfolio review for the board and an independent assessment of third party IP. We also have significant experience in writing the due diligence portions of AIM flotation prospectuses and have guided SME clients through strategic acquisitions by making studies of the IP portfolio of the potential target.