When used effectively and strategically, IP rights can help turn commercial ambitions into a reality – not least when securing all-important funding, and even the most ground breaking of inventions requires investment to become a viable market proposition.

Now, more than ever, we need ambitious, high growth science-based SMEs with the potential to generate revenue and create jobs to succeed. But among early-stage businesses we often see too much emphasis on the process of securing IP rights and too little focus on how to leverage these rights to their commercial advantage.

That said, IP rights alone are not a panacea for business growth. But when it comes to securing funding a weak IP position is a red flag to investors and could negatively impact on the valuation of your business – by as much as 70% – or even see an investor walk away all together.

Ultimately, the end goal with IP due diligence is to instil confidence and build trust with a potential investor. While investors are prepared to take on varying degrees of risk, SMEs will always need to show an IP approach that doesn’t signal alarm bells.

To help innovative businesses tackle the challenge we have produced the IP Blueprint for Growth guide outlining the five essential ingredients they will need to put themselves in the strongest position to attract and secure funding.

The guide provides practical insights on optimising your IP approach in these key areas to secure investor approval:

  • Clear ownershipensuring there are no grey areas on ownership of IP
  • Innovation capturerecognising the importance of robust processes and procedures
  • Sound strategybuilding an IP approach around the business plan
  • Market awareness – demonstrating an appreciation of your freedom to operate and the availability of proposed trade marks/brand names
  • Good timingknowing what steps to take and when to take them

Leveraging your IP for business growth

To further explore how intellectual property can help you to achieve your commercial goals, Potter Clarkson has joined forces with SCI to host a one-day conference ‘Leveraging your IP for business growth’ on Tuesday 4th October 2022. With advice on IP strategy, trade secrets, securing investment and licensing deals, as well as tips and advice from successful business owners, this event has been carefully curated for start-up and SME science-based businesses like yours.

Authors Charlotte Crowhurst and Richard Wells are patent attorneys at European IP firm, Potter Clarkson.