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April 1,2019

Intellectual Property and Invisible Friends

Alison Butchart, Scottish Enterprise: Innovation and Enterprise

Who has never had an invisible friend?     … bet you have!!  

When I was little I had a pair of invisible dogs (a black dog & a white dog) and an invisible friend called Rosebud.  The dogs came everywhere with me and sometimes, on car journeys, we had to stop so I could let them out.  You see, invisible friends are wonderful.  They might not be immediately obvious (either to you or to anybody else) but they can be a big part of your life when you are young and can be an amazingly valuable resource for a little kid.

In fact, they are a bit like intellectual property!

Intellectual property (IP) isn’t like the products you manufacture or the fancy computers in your office – it can be almost invisible but, unlike my dogs and Rosebud, it really does exist.  IP also comes in many different forms but every single company, regardless of size or sector, undoubtedly has some.  By identifying, managing and protecting your IP you can add real value to your business from day one of start-up and this value can continue to build as your company grows. 

So where could this IP be in your business?

IP assets can range from the patents held on a ground-breaking innovation through to the registration of the aesthetic design of a new product.  They can help strengthen your brand through trade mark protection and manage copyright to ensure that all your key creations are owned by your company.  And these assets really can add value.  Investors (both public and private sector) are increasingly looking to confirmation of IP ownership when companies are seeking investment and funding, so a well managed IP portfolio can be the difference between success and failure.  A strong set of IP assets can also strengthen your position in the marketplace and can give you a competitive advantage.

Although your IP assets may sometimes be hidden, help to manage them is easy to find.  Scottish Enterprise’s Intellectual Property Specialists are always happy to work with companies – just as any of Tontine's staff - to set up a meeting.  From an informal chat over a coffee to a full-blown Audit of your IP – we can help make intellectual property a best friend to your company – invisible or otherwise!