As this week is London Tech Week, we are realising the second part of the interview with Dr Rachel Daniel and Ed Clarke from IP21, a leading law firm specialising in intellectual property services. You can read the first part of the interview here

IL: If an entrepreneur is interested in protecting their most valuable IP assets, could a robust IP position be created on a start-up’s limited budget?

IP21: Yes absolutely. As mentioned earlier, there are ways for young businesses to prioritise their investment in IP to try to protect as much as possible for the long term and revisit their strategies as the business develops. At early stages, it’s important for businesses to be aware of potential pitfalls so as to minimise risks as far as possible.

IL: What advice do you have on pitfalls to avoid in protecting your IP in a new business?

IP21: One thing that everybody who is even considering protecting the rights to an invention in the future should do is to be extremely careful with who has access to its technical information. Novelty is a requirement for a patent to be granted, so disclosing technical information too early or to the wrong person could stop you ever getting it patented. Consider NDAs if needed. It is also essential to be aware of what rights somebody else could have in your work when they fund you, employ you or collaborate with you. It may not be immediately obvious to you, so always check this ideally before you start the working relationship.

Dr Rachel Daniel

Dr Rachel Daniel, IP Specialist

Ed Clarke

Ed Clarke, UK and European Attorney

IL: How much value can be added to the company valuation if their intellectual property is protected?

IP21: The sky is the limit! Clearly, this will vary from business to business, but for early stage and innovative businesses, IP can make up a significant proportion of the value of the company. Potential investors are often very interested to know what IP has been protected.

IL: Could you tell us any success story during your time at IP21, and how a suitable intellectual property strategy has accelerated their businesses?

IP21: We’ve been working with a fintech startup in London since their very early stages. IP was part of their business model from the beginning, and we’ve helped them develop an IP strategy which was based on a fairly limited budget at the start. By understanding their needs, we were able to defer some of the larger cost stages as far as possible while the business was developing and growing and attracting investment. The company’s IP portfolio has developed over time – and continues to do so. The business was recently valued at around $2bn.

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 and LinkedIn.