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Cultivating your intellectual property

Member News
The views expressed in this Member News article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent those of Agri-TechE.

Intellectual property (IP) rights offer legal protection for your innovative and creative endeavour, explains Hermione Thompson, a partner at J A Kemp, in this light-hearted look at protecting IP in agri-tech.

IP can relate to something that you have created, such as a brand, an invention or a design, or to information that you have developed or collated.

IP can be something that is registered: trade marks, patents and designs. However some IP rights arise automatically (so-called unregistered rights), such as copyright and unregistered designs.

Each form of IP right has a different purpose and can be highly valuable to your business.

Reasons to cultivate IP:

  • Reasons To Cultivate IP In The Agri-Tech FieldGrowing recognition – Trade marks can be invaluable as a tool to ensure that your brand is recognisable.
  • Putting down roots – Trade marks can help you maintain your reputation as a business by controlling the use of your trade marks.
  • Harvesting revenue – With margins tight for many businesses, it is important to consider all possible revenue streams. Although obtaining a patent may require some investment, it may also open up an untapped revenue stream via licensing, or support a claim to patent box tax relief.
  • Protect your turf – You can use a patent to stop other people from competing with you by copying your invention.
  • Weed deterrent – Your patent portfolio can be a deterrent to others trying to develop competing technologies in the same field.
  • Barter economy – IP can put you in a good position to make better deals, e.g. by cross-licensing to help reduce the amount you pay for access to what you need from third parties.
  • Sowing seeds – Development of IP can attract investors or partners which could fund further development or support an exit strategy.
  • Fertilising innovation – Being aware of and encouraging possible developments is useful in identifying innovation within your business. Effectively identifying and supporting potential developments means that you are less likely to miss an opportunity.

To find out more about JA Kemp.