HM Insights

Intellectual property: Top tips to ensure your business makes the most of it

At Harper Macleod we are great believers in intellectual property auditing, and strong supporters of the Scottish Enterprise / Highlands and Islands Enterprise / Intellectual Property Office administered IP audit scheme. We’ve worked with start ups and mature businesses, across sectors as diverse as healthcare, software, textiles, education, retail, food and drink, and IT. All of those we’ve worked with have found the audit scheme worthwhile. Here’s why…

Copyright Intellectual Property

Why is intellectual property important to your business?

Intellectual property is crucial to nearly every business.

  • A strong, well protected brand helps capture and safeguard presence and exclusivity in the marketplace.
  • A good patenting strategy helps businesses retain uniqueness in their product and service offerings.
  • A tight approach to IP with respect to a company’s workforce avoids risk of knowledge loss from staff turnover.
  • Respecting confidentiality issues mitigates liabilities.
  • Knowing how to interact with third parties with respect to IP maximises income, frees up time and allows a business to focus on achieving its goals.

Having your IP ‘house in order’ enables you to grow, increases chances of success and value propositions with respect to investment and sale strategies, and simplifies entering new markets.

How many times have you heard people lose out on funding because they hadn’t registered a trade mark, sought to acquire patent rights, or thought about carving out exclusivity in the marketplace?

IP auditing allows you to approach, investigate and build a strategy to deal with all of these matters … it’s a pathway to success.

Here’s what you have to look at in an intellectual property audit

  • Trade marks and brands – we look at what you’ve registered, haven’t registered, what you use and what other people use, locally and in your key present and future markets.
  • Patents – we consider what you’ve already sought to register, and investigate possibilities for protection.
  • Designs – looking at both registered and unregistered rights, we consider what your business could do to protect key article elements under the law relating to designs.
  • Copyright – whether it be software, marketing collateral, websites or films, we evaluate your position with respect to copyright works, and provide guidance on improving your position.
  • Workforce – we evaluate your employment contracts, director’s service contracts and workplace policies to ensure they’re fit for purpose from an IP perspective.
  • Internet – we look at your website terms and consider how you use social media, to ensure what you do works as regards IP.
  • Third parties – a business often licenses in, licences out, disposes of and acquires IP from third parties. We review your arrangements, and provide input on where improvements could be made and risk minimised.

And much more …

What do I do with this information?

We sum it all up in a plain English audit report, with clear recommendations on what you really need to do, what would be nice for you to do, and what you could do if you had not much else to do … allowing you to prioritise.

Let us help you

For more information on our IP auditing services please contact