Tuesday, 21 May 2013

How to become a Successful Inventor

Myerscough Cokkege, St Michael's Rd, Bilsborrow, Preston PR3 0RY

Conceiving an invention, developing it and obtaining a patent for it are the easy bits. Bringing it to market (whether by licensing it, contracting out its manufacture or making it oneself) requires skills, knowledge and connections that most members of the public, including inventors, do not have. The Wessex Round Table of Inventors once ran an Inventors Academy (and perhaps still does) with Southampton Solent University. The Southampton Solent course looks a very good one and I have often discussed the possibility of setting up a similar programme in the North with my contacts in our local universities and colleagues in other inventors clubs.  Yesterday I was delighted to receive an email from Ideas North West indicating that Myerscough College near Preston proposed to do just that.

In the next academic year the College will offer a course called "Innovation Business" to develop skills in entrepreneurship and innovation in partnership with Ideas North West.  According to the course flyer it will lead to an ILM (presumably "Institute of Leadership and Management") Level 3 certificate in enterprise and entrepreneurship. Topics include "assessing the suitability of your chosen enterprise", "researching the business market", "complying with legislation and regulatory requirements" and writing and presenting a business plan. All participants will deliver a final researched proposal with a "professional business plan" and will have be introduced to local accountants, bankers, patent agents, solicitors and other professionals. Also students will support each other by sharing skills and experience.

If the course lives up to its promise it could be very good indeed, - but it is not cheap. The cost is £850 though the course flyer suggests that Advanced Learning Loans may be available. Further information can be obtained from Andrea Gardner of the Collage on 01995 642143.

Friday, 3 May 2013

The Patent Box Workshop: Liverpool Inventors Club

The patent box is a tax concession to encourage businesses to invest in research and development in the UK. With 4,733 filings in 2012 (down from 4,757 the previous year) the UK trails the USA (35,222), Germany (27,295), Japan (22,700), France (9,879), Switzerland (6,617), South Korea (5,711) and the Netherlands (5.067) in the number of European patent applications British industry needs every fillip it can get.

In my introduction, I explained what a patent was, why businesses might want one, how to get one and how much a patent would cost.

The Patent Box: Introduction to Patents from Jane Lambert

Vince Walker, tax partner of BDO in Manchester, discussed R & D credits, outlined the patent box, the conditions for the concession together with a worked example.

R & D Credits and the Patent Box from Vince Walker

I reminded the audience that patents were not the only IP and that patents were not always suitable for every businesses. I suggested a number of alternatives and gave some tips on developing an IP strategy.

The Patent Box: Alternatives to Patents from Jane Lambert

Should anyone wish to discuss any of those presentations, please call me on  on 0161 850 0080 or 020 7404 5252 or fill in my my contact form. You can also follow me on Facebook, Linkedin, twitter or Xing.