Money is the key to growth

Growing companies often rely on equity finance to secure their business plans, but this can be challenging, especially when market demand is difficult to predict.

Adrian Tumbling, a partner and patent attorney at the European intellectual property organization Withers & Rogers, explains how investing in intellectual property (IP) protection can help businesses unlock the money they need.

The government recently released a report advising businesses to take advantage of IP resources and use online tools. One of the featured assets is a tool that offers IP protection tips.

A 2019 survey published by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) found that small and medium-sized businesses with at least one IP right are 21 percent more likely to grow faster. However, studies have shown that only nine per cent of European SMEs own a registered IP right, which means that many businesses are deprived of the benefits they can afford.

Often, lack of awareness is the main reason for investing, but it is not the only reason. Innovation-led businesses may be more focused on developing early-stage concepts than expanding their operations for mass production, both domestically and internationally. As a result, IP protection can be ignored. Not only can this prevent a company from reaching its true commercial potential, it can also slow down the UK’s economic growth.

While IP security provides considerable benefits for businesses of all sizes, for SMEs it can be a ticket to being a high-growth company. Protecting IP rights is vital at every stage of development. At the conceptual stage, ‘trade privacy’ can be used to protect market-sensitive information and then, after investing in an R&D program, the issue of submitting a patent application to protect innovation from copycat competitors should be considered. Once granted, patents provide 20-year exclusivity, which enables businesses to reap the commercial benefits of their invention.

Before launching the product, traders should consider whether the product needs to be protected. Registered designs are usually approved quickly, enabling quick market access if needed. Trademark registration is also important for maintaining brand identity from name to packaging.

When starting a company, thinking about future expansion plans can seem overwhelming. However, when it comes to IP security, it is always important to consider any market that the business wants to enter in the future.

When planning to export to another market for the first time, it is vital to secure additional funds in advance, and IP assets can help businesses secure financing on more favorable terms. Filing for security in different regions can make the process of issuing IP licenses to third parties easier.

For innovative businesses that are not planning to invest in global expansion, licensing deals can be a lucrative option, allowing companies to create a new revenue stream without deviating from their chosen focus. If a business decides to build itself around a licensing agreement, IP rights become more important, making third-party agreements risk-free and boosting investor confidence.

The combination of IP rights can create a strong portfolio, providing strong and long lasting commercial benefits. In addition to enabling businesses to keep infringers at bay, setting up different levels of IP protection can help extend the protection period beyond the normal 20-year period. For example, even if a patent expires, trademarks, trade secrets and other IP assets will ensure that the product can continue to be protected from competitors.

Bundling rights can help businesses achieve higher growth. The EPO and EUIPO survey found that SMEs with a collection of patents, trademarks and registered designs are 33 percent more likely to achieve high growth in their preferred market.

IP rights are often associated with high-tech companies such as consumer electronics and telecommunications, where R&D activities are part of day-to-day operations. However, low-tech businesses can benefit from IP as much as these technology-centric companies.

According to the survey, low-tech businesses operating in specialized manufacturing sectors, including food production and textiles, which have at least one European IP right, are more likely to become high-growth entities than higher businesses. -Technology field. This may be due to the lack of IP ownership in this market, increasing the potential commercial value of the rights.

No matter what sector a business is in, IP rights should be carefully considered as part of its growth strategy. It is not too early to build a strong IP portfolio, by seeking bundling rights and protection in other areas. By putting businesses in a better position to successfully invest and secure scale, IP offers the opportunity to optimize value from their activity as they progress.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.