Your business is likely to own or use intellectual property (IP). This may include your business name, logo, website, technical innovation, software, images and the look of your products to name a few. These important assets, which often go unrecognised, could play an important role in the sustainability and growth of your business both domestically and internationally, and all businesses to protect their IP.
Upcoming changes post EU transition
It's important to understand there will be changes to UK IP law to ensure the smooth departure from EU IP systems. This includes the use of representatives and address requirements to represent, UK Address for Service, and IP rights. Check the government's webpage for further information. There's also a handy checker tool so you can find out what actions you need to take now.
Changes will affect:
- Trade Marks and Designs
- Parallel trade from the UK to the European Economic Area (EEA)
- Unregistered designs
You can find out more information about all of these changes in this news story from the IPO.
Help is available to ensure your business is ready. We are encouraging all businesses to:
- Consider carefully where to disclose your designs to ensure they have adequate protection in their most important market;
- If you export IP-protected goods on the secondary or parallel market, contact the rights holder in the EEA to see if you have permission to continue to parallel export.
- Consider if you want exports to continue if you are a business that owns the IP rights for goods currently parallel exported from the UK to the EEA.
Listen to the IPO's informative webinar
The IPO has helpfully outlined the key changes that businesses need to know at the end of the transition period. The webinar is available on-demand here.
The value of IP
Hear from Caroline Sparks, co-founder of Turtle Tots as she talks about the value of IP to her business.
Why IP is important
Intellectual property assets can be integral to the growth and sustainability of a business. When properly managed, the value of your IP can far outweigh the physical assets, accounting for over 70% of your business’ value. There are four main types of IP:
- Designs – protects the overall look of a product including the colour, shape and texture. Find out more via this link https://www.gov.uk/intellectual-property/designs
- Patents – protects new inventions; how they work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. Find out more via this link https://www.gov.uk/intellectual-property/patents
- Trade marks – protects brands, such as your business name or logo, and can consist of a word, phrase, picture or a combination of all these https://www.gov.uk/intellectual-property/trade-marks
- Copyright– protects written, dramatic, musical and artistic works including photos, recordings, software and databases https://www.gov.uk/intellectual-property/copyright
Below is a video regarding the importance of protecting your intellectual property.
Getting help with IP
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the government body responsible for granting IP rights. Their business pages are full of guidance, case studies, events and information on where to access further support. Visit the site via this link.
The IPO also offers a range of interactive tools to make IP easy for businesses.
If you would like further information or advice on IP, please contact us to speak to a dedicated Enterprise Adviser https://www.wearegrowth.co.uk/contact-us/.
You can also watch the video below from Business Support Helpline regarding how to trade mark and copyright.
Other useful links:
Growth hub providers – help with intellectual property https://wearegrowth.co.uk/search/?keyword=intellectual