This week we are publishing the first part of an interview we conducted with Dr Rachel Daniel and Ed Clarke from IP21, a leading law firm specialising in intellectual property services. They told us why building a sustainable IP portfolio is important to protect start-ups’ innovation, and how IP21 helps entrepreneurs succeed and gain competitive advantage. You can follow IP21 on LinkedIn.

IL: IP21 is a very well-established firm specialising in a range of intellectual property services. Could you describe the ins-and-outs of what you do?

IP21: The core of our work is in helping our clients obtain worthwhile protection for their innovations, product designs and branding using the IP system. A key value-add for us is helping our clients build a strategy for building a sustainable IP portfolio over time, in tune with their commercial strategies, needs and resources.

IL: Emerging small start-ups may find it challenging to ascertain the value of their IP assets. How do you work with start-ups in order to evaluate their IP assets and guide them through the process?

IP21: We start from the premise that every business is different and has its own assets, objectives and needs. Every business has IP, whether that’s in the branding or in technology that has been developed, know-how, confidential information and so on. A good place to start is with an assessment of what the business already has and how those IP assets can be developed and further protected to add value to the business; this can take the form of an IP audit under one of the government schemes or can be more bespoke to the client’s needs. We also offer an IP valuation service which can put a monetary value on a specific IP asset (such as a patent or trade mark registration) or on a whole IP portfolio.

Dr Rachel Daniel

Dr Rachel Daniel, IP Specialist

Ed Clarke

Ed Clarke, UK and European Attorney

IL: How to decide which of the IP assets are unique enough to the business, and are worth protecting with a patent or licence?

IP21: It probably goes without saying that there is no one-size-fits-all way of answering this question! We try to help our clients develop a strategy that will focus on the best bang for their IP buck. An important issue is tracking developments in the sector – whether to track competitors or to try and avoid duplication in innovation investment. Licensing can be a very valuable way to turn innovation into income.

IL: Which emerging industries have you witnessed over the past 24 months have the most potential to grow?

IP21: We’re seeing a lot of innovation in the green tech and sustainability sectors, as well as in AI/machine learning space. We’re also seeing a lot of businesses developing multi-discipline developments – where innovations in different technological fields are working synergistically to solve problems or present new opportunities.

Stay tuned for the second part of the interview, which we will be releasing during London Tech Week in June. Insider London is proud to partner with IP21. For a bespoke Company Visit to get a further insight into how IP21 is helping start-ups succeed, get in touch via contact@insiderlondon.com to book your visit today, and you can follow them on Twitter @ipTwentyOne