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Everyone owns IP. What do you own?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Business, Copyright, Design, Patents, Trade marks

It’s a question that we often ask as part of the IPO’s outreach team and it’s not always easy to answer. Louise in a previous blog also asked “Do I own my website?” and that is a question that definitely gets a lot of hamster wheels turning.

The role of the Outreach team is to spread the word of intellectual property far and wide from Thurso to Penzance. We travel the country attending business exhibitions, holding seminars and offering free help and support to anyway who wants to hear it.


The question of ownership is one of the main ways we are able to get through to businesses to help them understand the importance of IP. Nothing strikes fear into an entrepreneur quite like telling them they don’t own their own business/brand name. A brand which they have often lovingly spent years and considerable amounts of money shaping and moulding.

To help us raise this awareness we have embedded ourselves into a web of organisations that work together to help businesses and entrepreneurs grow and thrive.

These range from government bodies like UK Trade and Investment to local business support organisations like Sweda who are based in the West Bromwich area.

One of our most successful tools is our half day workshop. To help drive home the message (and stop “death by PowerPoint”) we give delegates exercises so they can test their own knowledge first.

It never fails to raise a few eyebrows and also ignite some very interesting discussions.

Image of Hedge Dog, the toy used in the IP exercise booklet.
"Hedge Dog" always sparks a debate in our IP exercises.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

As IP is prevalent in every business it gives us the ability to tailor what we do to help no matter what industry you are in. For instance, I personally have done talks ranging from registered designs in caravans/park homes to IP in government offices, but let’s not talk about that.

To help us adapt to businesses needs over the last few years we have also introduced 2 industry specific workshops.

The first is based on IP in the medical and bioscience industries. This has now been delivered on numerous occasions to great success, including getting over 60 delegates on one occasion in Nottingham.

The second and much newer workshop is around the world of software and digital media including software patents. This was successfully trialled in Newcastle earlier this year and is now ready to be rolled out with other partners in the near future.

Can we help?

As with all growing businesses we are always eager to make new contacts and expand our web. If you wish to attend one of our events our online calendar will allow you to find out when we are close by.

Alternatively, if you would like to host an event with us, then please contact us. Whether it is general IP or a specific industry we can tailor information to suit your needs.

To adapt a well known monologue (under the new copyright exceptions it will be fine).

Today, still wanted by the government they survive, but not as soldiers of fortune. If you have IP training needs, if no one else can help and if you can find them. Maybe you can hire The O Team.

Sadly I don’t have a license for the music but you can just imagine that in your head.

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  1. Comment by FlatmateRooms Team posted on

    You are doing a great job. It's not just flattery. Here's our case study:

    We have spent years building Flatmate Rooms brand name. Once we've grown a bit competing flat-sharing sites would advertise on Google searches for our brand name. Users would find websites of competitors, even downright imposters advertising above our organic search listing. I needed to defend my work. Trademark application was not accepted initailly, but we succeeded after presenting a witness statement. I published a full uncensored write-up on our blog:

    Infringing Google adverts went away within weeks after our application passed and notifications were sent.