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LESSONS FROM A FOUNDER: Basics of Building a Business - IP with Christian Bunke

last modified Mar 14, 2019 12:24 PM
With the next B3 event coming up in the next few weeks, we thought we’d take a look back at some previous B3s and learn more about what it takes to build a business. But first – a bit about B3. Our Basics of Building a Business event, or B3, is hosted by a Founder who has successfully scaled their business. They invite the three people who proved vital in helping them along the way to share what they did, how they did it and so much more on what you need to do to go from start up to scale up. Late last year Adam Durant, CEO of Satavia and alumni of ideaSpace, was our guest founder for the evening and invited along Christian Bunke of Basck - an IP Firm focused on working with startups. Here’s what he had to say…

Intellectual Property 101 – 8 Myths and Mistakes

Now more than ever, intangibles can account for more than 70% of business value, so it’s essential to develop and maintain an Intellectual Property (IP) strategy that maximises the business value and minimises the risks associated with IP.  

If you do, then you will be ready to react quickly and respond to whichever range of new challenges and opportunities come your way.  

Take a look at the top 8 frequent myths and mistakes made by entrepreneurs and make sure you aren’t doing the same…

 

1. We don’t have any IP to protect

IP takes different forms, from less obvious (customer lists, employees’ expertise and know-how) to more tangible, registrable forms like the name of your company or product (trade mark), look and feel of a product (design) or a method/device/system/a different application of an invention (patent). Even small improvements can constitute an IP worth registering.

 

2. We don't need a trademark - we own all domains

Registration made at Companies House is absolutely separate to trade mark registration. Companies can use different trading names and registration names. Without a registration you have to fight based on earlier use which can be very difficult.

 

3. IP protection is expensive so we take our chances

Fairy tales aside, building an IP portfolio is an investment that needs time, budget and effort. However, the first steps that one could consider, ‘basic business hygiene’, can be taken from same the budget you would spend on your marketing. Also, defending your position if you fail to protect your IP early on, can cost much more. We see companies rebranding and settling before courts all the time.

 

4. There is no product like ours so let’s patent it

Before you decide to spend significant amount of time and money on R&D and patenting, take the benefit of the IP data being public. Patent registries serve as the greatest source of technical information on the planet. There are some inventions that have been patented / applied for, yet for various reasons have not made it to the market. Make sure you factor this in when googling your next business idea.

 

5. We don’t need IP & non-disclosure agreements

Any disclosure of your technology without the NDA can be a risk for your future patents.

 

6. We paid for the work so we own the IP

Nothing is further from the truth. Employment relations are easier if IP has been developed outside of the scope of employees’ duties. More important are contracts with any third parties as you should agree from the get-go who will own the IP developed during the project. On top of that, the already developed IP should be properly assigned by means of an assignment agreement upon the final delivery.

 

7. We don’t need to think global, we work in the UK

When thinking about selecting your brand, as well as when protecting your technology with patents, you should think a few years ahead. Is there any company in another country who I share the name with and it might become an issue if we enter that market? Is my technology protected in all countries where I intend to sell, manufacture and export to?

 

8. China does not respect IP so there’s no need to protect it

China is now the biggest filer of IP worldwide and has put a lot of effort to ensure that the IP system is caught up with the other international standards. 

Fun fact: as a foreign company, it is often easier to be granted an injunctive relief against a local infringing trader in China than it is in USA.

 

If any of the above sounds familiar, then get in touch with Christian christian@basck.comand the team at Basck on Email: Telephone: +44 (0) 1223 654547.

 

If you are a founder or entrepreneur and feel like you could benefit by working in a place alongside likeminded people then contact us on 01223 330971 or email info@ideaspace.cam.ac.uk.

 

A bit about Basck
The team at Basck have been working in the IP and legal services for leading IP firms and multinationals, as well as rapidly expanding technology companies. It is by building on this experience and being powered by Aalbun that we are able to offer top quality business advice and IP services at unmatched turnaround times and within fixed budgets. We would love to hear about your company and see how we can support you. 

Basck was founded with the vision to create an Intellectual Property (IP) Consultancy that understands commercial considerations equally well as Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). We are passionate about technology companies and support start-ups and SMEs to grow quickly, whilst generating business focused IPR portfolios in the most cost-effective way. Through our offices in Europe and Asia, we can multi-shore projects and attract the best technology experts regardless of where they are located.

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