Terzo attended the Surrey Chamber of Commerce (SCOC) Intellectual Property (IP) Forum, held at Guildford University on 3rd December 2015.
SCOC had assembled an impressive panel of experts in IP, all of whom approached the subject matter through different lenses:
- Martyn Buxton-Hoare – Director of Technology Transfer at the University of Surrey. He is effectively a “producer” of output which requires IP protection
- Jim Asher – COO & Co-founder of Coller IP, an IP consultancy advising businesses the value in their IP (sometimes vested in unexpected places) and how to protect and release this IP value.
- Dave Hopkins – Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Refreshingly practical and vigorous in his advice and call to action.
- Paul Openshaw – Openshaw & Co – Patent Attorneys (who push patent applications through the approvals process).
The format of the session was brief presentations from each of the panellists, followed by extensive Q&A from the audience.
Some key takeaway messages from the forum from Terzo’s perspective were as follows:
- These days, its common to apply for patent protection in three key markets: the EU, the US and China. China is taking IP protection increasingly seriously, recognising that it is starting to produce its own patents
- Not all patent attorneys are the same; they each have their own areas of expertise
- Use a patent attorney to write your patents. Writing them yourself in an inexpert manner can be a false economy as it costs considerable sums to submit to the various patent offices and push them through the approval process – cost that could be wasted if the patent is rejected or is not worded correctly.
- The IPO offer free tools online to allow a business to do an IP audit
Getting different perspectives on the subject really helped bring it to life, and gave plenty of food for thought for planning IP strategy.