The rise of innovation
Adamson Jones patent and trade mark attorneys have detected a notable rise recently in innovation by local companies, and are looking to help continue this trend.
Simon Cooper, managing director of Adamson Jones, said “Local companies are increasingly seeing innovation as the way to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and enable growth. The improving outlook for the economy, and the significant support now available to innovative companies, is providing them with the confidence to undertake new innovative ventures. Our success has been built on the success of our clients, and we wish to help our clients gain the most value from their innovations.”
There is an increasing number of funding opportunities as well as more general business support available to businesses looking to exploit innovation as a way to achieve their wider commercial goals.
Simon said “This year, one of our key objectives for the local market is to raise awareness of the financial incentives and funding opportunities available to innovative businesses. One such example is the Nottingham Technology Grant Fund (N’Tech), which offers local SMEs operating within the digital, life sciences and clean technology sectors, grants of up to £1m to help support business growth. N’Tech funding can be used to finance the development of new technologies and the exploitation of intellectual property.”
The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which broadly covers Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, supports the view that innovation stimulates economic growth, and is deploying £50m between 2014 and 2020 into business support measures to aid business innovation. D2N2 Chief Executive David Ralph said “Innovation is in our DNA and is a key competitive advantage of the D2N2 area.”
The development of a culture of innovation locally has translated into an increased level of enquiries from companies looking to protect their intellectual property, and explore the options for exploiting patents, registered designs and registered trade marks to enable further growth.
Simon comments “There were 860 UK patent applications filed by East Midlands companies in 2012, compared to 685 in 2011, an increase of 25%*. Although figures for 2013 have not yet been released, we expect to see this growth continue.”
Simon continues “The introduction of the new Patent Box tax regime in April last year is undoubtedly one of the reasons behind the increase in patent-related enquiries from new and existing clients, in particular SMEs looking to exploit the various financial and commercial opportunities that can be obtained through having a UK patent. There has also been a notable rise in the number of trade mark enquiries we’ve received over the past few months, which indicates that more and more businesses are looking to take advantage of the protection a trade mark registration can offer a brand, as well as the options for further exploitation, through franchising and licensing, for example.”
Following the success of previous joint workshops and seminars hosted with organisations such as the UKTI, East Midlands International Trade Association (emita), the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and Medilink East Midlands, Adamson Jones plans to continue working with such organisations in advising innovators and entrepreneurs on the different forms of intellectual property (IP) and how IP can be used to provide a genuine competitive edge for their business.
Simon said “As well as presenting joint events with organisations able to assist innovative and growing businesses, we are also exploring further the benefits to clients of taking a collaborative approach with business services firms in the legal, accounting and business consultancy sectors. The ability to offer joined up IP, tax and commercial strategy to our clients will add value to their business as well as saving them time and cost.”
Adamson Jones continues to invest for the future, with two new starters to add to their growing Nottingham team and more plans afoot for further expansion. Simon said “Just over a year ago, the company moved into new offices at BioCity Nottingham, where we have been based for the past nine years, having outgrown the previous office space. The company continues to grow and this has generated the need to recruit additional members for both our technical and support teams.”
*Source: IPO Data