Would you like £2,500 towards growing your business?
Intellectual property is a valuable asset within any business. Do you know what intellectual property rights your business has? Have you protected your rights and do you know how you can utilise them?
If it has been a while since you last had an intellectual property (“IP”) audit or if you have never had one, then now might be the best time to do it.
In autumn 2021 the UK Intellectual Property Office (“UKIPO”) launched a scheme called IP Audits Plus. This scheme is open to all eligible SMEs, allowing SMEs to have an IP audit carried out at a much-subsidised rate.
Act Now! The deadline for applying for an IP audit is 31 March 2022.
Who is eligible for the audit?
To be eligible, the business must:
(i) Be an SME (fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of no more than £250 million);
(ii) Be able to demonstrate that an IP audit will assist future business growth; and
(iii) Be engaged with one of the IPO partner business support schemes: Innovate UK Edge (formerly Enterprise Europe Network), Scottish Enterprise and the Highlands and Island Enterprises, or the Welsh Government.
Applications for the funding can be submitted through Innovate UK Edge: https://www.innovateukedge.ukri.org/contact-us
What is involved in an IP audit?
An IP audit consists of an audit carried out by an IP professional who will review a business’ IP assets and will make recommendations on how the business can improve its IP position identifying any potential patents, trademarks or designs that ought to be protected by registration with the UKIPO.
The total cost of the IP audit is £3,000 (inc. VAT). If your application is successful, the UKIPO will contribute £2,500 and you will only need to contribute the remaining £500*.
Why should you apply for an IP audit?
Knowing what intellectual property rights you have in your business is essential to be able to value your business, to put them into commercial use and also how to protect them. An audit can help you grow your business, secure further funding and make the business more attractive to investors.
In addition, an IP audit can assist with:
• Understanding the importance of IP rights and ensuring the business is adequately protecting its IP;
• Assist you with determining your IP strategy including management of assets as the business grows;
• Advice and guidance in relationship to IP ownership;
• Securing further ‘IP Access’ funding (of up to £5,000) that can cover professional fees, for the commercialisation of IP, licensing and franchise agreements, tax relief advice and insurance (for more information visit https://www.citma.org.uk/resources/uk-ipo-launches-new-ip-support-scheme-mb21.html).
Please note that the funding excludes official filing fees for trademark, design or patent applications.
How can we help?
Our commercial team have vast experience in advising on all aspects of intellectual property rights and carrying out IP audits. If you would like to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity, please contact James Corlett or Natalia Shvarts in our Commercial Team.