Intellectual Property for Start Ups

Protect your IP

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Intellectual Property (IP) consists of patents, copyright, design and trademarks, which are protected by law. Intellectual property (IP) covers creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. The protections afforded under IP rules enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit for their creative or inventive efforts. Having the right protections in place will protect and add value a start-up business.

“Licensing of intellectual property and leveraging intellectual property is one of the things that I see that don’t people seem to consider fully.”

Having a good idea is one thing but knowing the best way to protect that idea is another. In this cast Cathal Lane shares some of the options available to you when it comes to IP.

Cathal outlines the four main types of intellectual property (IP), which are patents, trademarks, designs and copyright. Patents are designed to protect inventions; the way things work and what they do. Cathal addresses some common misconceptions about IP, including oft heard mistaken beliefs that it is not applicable, too costly or there’s an overriding need to keep the idea entirely confidential. Cathal lists some additional benefits of patenting including marketing kudos. He encourages start-ups to think of a patent as a business tool. In leveraging patents in this way, start-ups can license their product, allowing them to exploit other markets. In this light patents are an investment rather than an outlay, and on which you should see a return. Cathal then discusses the need to balance limited resources with the number of filings and jurisdictions where patent protection is sought. Finally Cathal outlines the process involved in registering a patent and the requirement to keep your idea confidential before patenting.

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Cathal Lane
Cathal Lane is Deputy Managing Partner at Tomkins. Cathal's practice concentrates on helping clients realize new opportunities by leveraging IP. He has acted for some of the world's leading companies, universities, semi-state companies and SMEs in the pharmaceutical, medical devices, machinery, composite materials and adhesive sectors.