The Tamworth-based Malted Waffle Company has been providing the hospitality industry with waffle machines for more than 30 years, so it knows a thing or two about waffles. As it looks to expand overseas and capture new growth opportunities, it turns out that it needs to know a lot more about its Intellectual Property (IP).
The value of a company’s Intellectual Property (IP) – the result of its knowledge, creative and innovative activities - can be undervalued and sometimes overlooked altogether. Yet it can be central to the growth potential of a business.
Protecting IP assets can give your business a time-limited form of monopoly, providing the chance to enjoy a return on investment, increasing competitiveness and prevent others from making gains from your efforts.
To help companies define the IP assets it owns, so it can then develop a strategy for protecting and exploiting those assets on a commercial basis, EEN provides a part-funded IP audit in partnership with the Intellectual Property Office.
This IP audit was used by the Malted Waffle Company. “The support provided by EEN and the IPO office regarding the IP audit has significantly opened our eyes as to the importance of getting our brand properly protected prior to the significant growth we are planning, both in the UK and overseas,” says its MD Laura Barrett.
The IP audit revealed that there was further potential for growth for the business, identifying a specific element of the new waffle machine that the company had developed was capable of being exploited in other industries. “we will be seeking patent protection for this to maximise the commercial potential,” says Laura.
The audit provides a business with a strategic overview of its IP assets, including registered and unregistered IP rights, and to assess their commercial viability. The report is tailored to the needs of your business and will include recommendations and identify steps for you to take to fully maximise the value of your IP and how to develop an IP management plan to integrate your assets into your wider business strategy.
The company itself must choose an appropriate IP professional to conduct the audit. You are advised to look at the websites of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys to assist you with the selection and briefing process. You can also talk with your innovation specialist to identify local IP professionals and use the resources on this website on seeking IP advice.
The audit offer doesn’t include funding for preparing, drafting and filing applications for IP rights. The IP professional will provide cost projections for delivery of the services required to take forward the recommendations. This will allow you to budget effectively in order to manage the development and protection of your IP. Follow-up support from your innovation specialist will also help you to identify your next steps and priorities.
The IP audit offer forms part of the Innovate 2 Succeed (I2S) programme. For more information about accessing an IP audit contact the EEN team.
The support provided by EEN and the IPO office regarding the IP audit has significantly opened our eyes as to the importance of getting our brand properly protected prior to the significant growth we are planning
Laura Barrett, MD, The Malted Waffle Company