Page 7 - London Business Matters May 2020
P. 7

                  May 2020 Your business 7    SPONSORED COLUMN Managing your business- critical IP during the  COVID-19 crisis Victor Caddy, Director Trade mark and design attorney Wynne-Jones IP UK businesses are fighting for survival during the COVID-19 outbreak and trying to trade under difficult conditions. If you’re worried your business is going to the wall, intellectual property (IP) probably isn’t front of your mind, right? Where is the money coming from to invest in such luxuries when staff are being furloughed and orders have been postponed? Protecting your products, ideas and brands is not a luxury, not even in these sanity-challenging times and it’s still as important in managing the strategic risk to your company. What are the risks? 1. You risk damaging your business recovery SMEs that have filed at least one intellectual property (IP) right are 21% more likely to experience a growth period afterwards and are 10% more likely to become a high-growth company than those without rights applications. In fact, SMEs with an IP portfolio in place actually boost their chances of high growth by a third. There is no reason to believe that this will not also apply in the current crisis. 2. You risk not being able to achieve your business goals If you don’t invest in IP when it’s needed you risk others stealing it or registering IP rights in similar areas that will prevent you from using yours once the crisis has passed. 3. You risk missing out on increased company value Having IP assets locked down can be a key requirement for investors. IP can also add to the overall value of a business should you be looking to sell or merge in future. London - T: +44 (0)20 3146 7888 What do you need to do in times of business crisis? 1. Have a risk management plan It’s vitally important that you have identified, assessed and mitigated the risks across all your business functions. You cannot take steps to protect your business, including your IP assets, unless you have this in place and know what you are going to do. 2. Include IP in your risk management plan As part of this risk management plan you need to identify your IP assets and assess whether they’re business critical. Being business critical means that the IP assets are essential to the delivery of your business goals, both during and after the crisis. 3. Don’t risk losing your IP If an IP asset is regarded as business critical you need to protect it. If you already have IP rights in place you need to ensure you keep them alive. You risk the viability of your business by not protecting business-critical IP; it’s that simple. 4. Identify financial support Find out if there is funding available that may be used to pay for protection of IP rights. If you use an IP firm, see if you can negotiate a payment plan with them. If you don’t have an IP firm in place, Wynne-Jones IP would be happy to offer advice and guidance on all aspects of protecting your business-critical IP assets during this difficult time and beyond. Contact us if you want a friendly ear and practical advice.       

   5   6   7   8   9