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Protecting a Business Idea

“Failing to protect your intellectual property can mean that ideas vital to your product or service can be used by a competitor”

Once you have an idea for your new business it is important to think about protecting any original aspect of the concept of the business.  Think about if this aspect will be vital for your business to be a success.  This process is known as intellectual property (IP).

One of the main reasons for doing this would be to protect others from using your business ideas without gaining permission from you the business owner.  If you fail to protect your intellectual property, it could mean that in the future it could hinder the performance of your business.

Why would you want to Protect your IP

Your intellectual property could be rooted in your product which may contact a feature that makes it different from another similar product and is vital to its appeal to your customers.  Or you just may want to protect the original brand name or product/service so that no one else can use it.

In order for key elements to be identified of your business that could be protected you can contact the UK intellectual Property Office (IPO).  They can also help with trademarks, to designs and processes which is now becoming even easier.  The IPO is and executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

Protection is vital for your business to grow.  In the startup phase and as your business develops it could become a requirement for you to look for financial back to continue to help the business develop further.  If an investor has an interest in your business, whether they are a bank or private equity company they will of course look at your business to see if it is a sound business and that if they do invest into it that their investment will be safe.  It is at this point during the due diligence process if it is discovered that you have not protected your IP it could result in you not secure the finance you require.

Why? You could have put your business at risk to the competition this can a negative effect on you as the business owner having not protecting you IP.

As your business grows you may consider selling the business and again your IP can have a major impact on the value of the business as well as being more appealing to prospective buyers. 

If you want to find out more information about Intellectual Property for your business check out this link to the Gov.uk website

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