Creative businesses could be sitting on tens of thousands of pounds worth of intellectual property (IP), according to Yorkshire law firm Hlw Keeble Hawson.
Deborah Niven, an IP specialist at Hlw Keeble Hawson, has urged SMEs in the creative sector to take advantage of government funding and audit their intellectual property.
Through the Government’s Business Growth Service, the IP Audit Plus programme provides funding of up to £3,000 for an IP professional to assess the value of a business’s IP collateral.
Niven said that the audits, which are available for the jewellery sector, enable established companies to take a step back and assess where the value lies in their business.
Niven: “Often at the start of a business, only minimal consideration is given to intellectual property and contracts in order to begin trading, but over time the firm builds up a brand, develops products or services and expands along the way.”
A report from the Intellectual Property Office on the IP Audit Plus found that the audits had highlighted new business opportunities in 31% of participating businesses, with more than four in ten companies (43%) identifying new opportunities to exploit their IP through initiatives such as licensing and franchising – and 28% reaping financial benefits as a direct result of their audit.
The report also demonstrated that IP reviews had opened up new financial support streams such as equity funding (23%) and grant funding (30%).