Q: Where can I learn more about IP for businesses?

A: Although there is much available on the internet the best source of reliable UK based information can be found on the UK Intellectual Property Office website.  I recommend that you explore this site to understand some of the basic terms used by IP specialists.  My suggestion for an easy to use guide is to refer to the UK Government IP Basics page or download the IP Equip App

Q: How can I determine if my business needs IP protection?

A: The UK Intellectual Property Office provides a free IP Healthcheck service that takes you through a series of questions to determine the degree of IP protection that you should have and provides a confidential report with recommendations for next steps.  If you would like any help with understanding and implementing the advice that this tool provides please contact IP Scope. 

Q: What sort of training does IP Scope offer?

A: Training Courses can be tailored to your needs, from a simple overview of IP rights and how to obtain them, to more detailed advice on how to search for patents and understand the information contained in them.  If you already have patent protection, training and advice on how to manage an IP portfolio can be provided.  Studies have shown that only 4% of UK businesses have an IP policy.

Q: Where is IP Scope located?

A: In Cambridge, UK. 

Q: What is the quickest way to contact you?

A: Phone Phil Coldrick on +44 7941977842 or email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Q: I have an idea, but don't want to tell anyone in case they steal it. What can I do?

A: It is important that you do not make your idea public before you apply for IP Rights, if you do you run the risk that you may not be able to patent an invention or protect your design because it is invalidated by the public disclosure.

However, that does not mean that you must never discuss your idea with anyone else. For example, you can discuss it with qualified (registered) lawyers, solicitors and patent attorneys because anything you say to or show them is legally privileged. This means it is in confidence and they will not tell anyone else.

Alternatively, you may need to discuss your idea with someone else before you apply for an IP Right such as a patent adviser or consultant, like IP Scope. If so, a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) can help. NDAs are also known as confidentiality agreements and confidentiality-disclosure agreements (CDA).  An explanation on setting up NDAs (including templates) can be found here.

Q: What IP should I be considering when I start a business?

A: Typical things to consider include your business name - your name and brand is a valuable asset to your business so think about protecting it by registering it as a trade mark.  Remember, If you have registered your company name with Companies House this does not mean you are protected. Someone else could still use it.

Other IP aspects include copyright for your website and any other promotional literature your create.  Copyright is automatic but beware of who owns the copyright when a third party is involved such as a website designer.  You might want to consider having the copyright assigned to you through any contract you arrange with them.