|British Library Source Wikipedia|
Whatever the nature of your business you are bound to have some intellectual property. It may be a patent for a groundbreaking new invention or it may be something simple like the goodwill that is attached to your business or a secret recipe. Whatever it is you will need some basic information and maybe some advice. Here are some pointers.
A good place to start is the British Library Business and IP Centre in St Pancras. They have a lot of useful information about business networking, planning, IP and market research. There is a good introductory video by Anthony Lau who invented a cycle lock and started a business to market his invention. The Centre holds frequent workshops and seminars on all those topics. To access these resources you will need a reader's card which is issued free on production of a passport or driving licence and a utility bill or other evidence of residence. The British Library also has groups on Linkedin and Facebook which you can join on-line.
Portsmouth Central Library
The British Library is a member of a network of libraries around the country known as Patent Information Units. These are in turn part of a wider European network known as PATLIB which is affiliated to the European Patent Office. Because most of our region is close to London there is only one Patent Information Unit in the South East. That is the Portsmouth Central Library at Guildhall Square which is very close to Portsmouth and Southsea railway station.
If you want more detailed one to advice you can book a free consultation with a patent attorney at an IP clinic Patent attorneys are professionals who apply for patents and other registered rights on behalf of their clients and offer a wide range of other services (see my article "IP Professionals - who does what" 5 Sep 2013 London IP). Clinics are held by appointment at
- the London branch of the Intellectual Property Office every Tuesday evening between 17:00 and 19:30
- Portsmouth Universities for students and graduates of the University; and
- Southampton Central Library between 17:00 and 19:00 on the last Thursday of every month.
To find out how to book an appointment and other information see the IP Clinics page on the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys' website.
You can get a lot of information. sometimes useful technical and legal advice and occasionally even some investment or other assistance through meeting other inventors and entrepreneurs at an inventors' club or group. I am aware of at least two in Surrey and one in Southampton but there may be more:
- Croydon Round Table of Inventors
- Kingston Round Table of Inventors, and
- Wessex Round Table of Inventors.
Details of meetings, subscriptions and other matters are available from the club websites. One article that I particularly commend is the "Invention Checklist" on the Wessex site. If more inventors and indeed their professional advisers read that page they would save an enormous amount of time and money not to mention aggravation and frustration.
Workshops and Seminars
Libraries, universities, law firms, patent and trade mark agencies and many others hold occasional workshops and seminars on IP. We have just completed a season of four introductory talks entitled which I have mentioned in the following articles:
- Introduction to IP
- Introduction to the Law relating to Branding: Passing off, Trade Marks, Geographical Indications and Domain Names
- Introduction to the Law relating to Creative Output: Copyright, Related Rights and Designs and
- How the Law protects Investment in Technology.
You can download the slides and handouts from those articles. We shall be holding more workshops and seminars in 2014. We also send out regular newsletters and news updates on topics that may be of interest to your business. If you want to be put on our mailing list call George on 020 7404 5252 or 023 9316 2030 or fill in our contact form.