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How safe is your innovation?

It has to be the stuff of nightmares. Years of laborious lab work, scientific papers and funding rounds to get your innovation into the marketplace, when the phone rings. A lawyer representing another company wishes to discuss a possible infringement of patent. Can you make yourself available for a meeting next week? You replace the receiver. Your heart starts to thump and your mind races.

Written by Andrew Lowe on 8th February 2016

How safe is your innovation?

 

It has to be the stuff of nightmares. Years of laborious lab work, scientific papers and funding rounds to get your innovation into the marketplace, when the phone rings. A lawyer representing another company wishes to discuss a possible infringement of patent. Can you make yourself available for a meeting next week? You replace the receiver. Your heart starts to thump and your mind races.

We seem to expect a lot of our scientist-come-entrepreneur. Whilst the Government places great emphasis on the wealth and job-generating potential of the life sciences, the fact remains that the road from bench to boardroom is strewn with casualties –  victims of the unforeseen and the unplanned.

Much of our work as providers of insurance involves steering clients round potential hazards. Like you, we want your venture to survive and grow, and we certainly don’t want you to have to take that nightmare phone call. You’ve no doubt insured the physical assets in the business, but what about protecting the very reason you are in business – your innovation or intellectual property? This is where your future growth and financial success lies. But beware; there could well be large, predatory companies watching and waiting to snatch that very value for themselves.

So what should you do? It’s never too late to take time out to learn about some of the pitfalls in business, so I was interested to hear about the launch of a training package for SMEs to build a better understanding of Intellectual Property. Designed by Nottingham-based trademark and patent attorney firm AdamsonJones, the one-to-one sessions demystify the IP process and provide innovators with the knowledge they need to identify the opportunities and risks that IP presents for their business. https://www.adamson-jones.co.uk/news-events/aj-news/adamsonjones-launches-initiative-to-support-innovative-smes

Put simply (although simple it isn’t), you’ve got to minimise the risk of some other organisation taking your idea, or stopping you from operating. Never underestimate the value protection affords, especially as it can also help to attract funding and turn your R&D into assets. It makes it far harder for a competitor to replicate your work and, subject to the extent of searches, for you to replicate theirs.

But will you be able to enforce your IP and how much might it cost? We know that legal bills can add-up and courtroom time will take you away from the business, so the point of IP insurance protection is to make sure you can cover these costs. It might also deter a potential predator if they see you are more-than-capable of putting up a robust defense.

Just as AdamsonJones’ work as patent and trademark attorneys seeks to minimise your risk of theft or infringement, so we at Franklands will look at the steps you have taken to protect your ideas, and then find the most appropriate insurance for your case. It makes our job as brokers that much more satisfying if we can go to the insurance provider with a well-researched, appropriately protected innovation.

Then if the phone should ring, you calmly reach for the relevant documents and evidence, and send them away to think again.


 

See other blogs related to: Lifescience

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