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Commercialisation of IP Rights

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Commercialisation of Intellectual Property rights

In many cases, the first thought will be to start a business to exploit the rights to your intellectual property. But those whose talents lie in creative and innovative fields do not always have the skills or interest to run a business where a different skill set is needed. A clear business plan needs to be formulated. Funding may be required. Premises may be needed. Certainly development and marketing will be key functions as will oversight of production, monitoring legal compliance, protection of IP rights … The list goes on. It is likely that others will need to become involved in one way or another. They may be sub-contractors, employees or even partners in a business venture. Advice is likely to be needed at an early stage.

It is not necessary to be involved in every stage in order to profit from the IP rights. At the other end of the scale, you could concentrate on a licensing model and just take royalties for the use of your IP.

If you want to be in control of the whole process, then risk can be managed by subcontracting production, by appointing distributors, hiring marketing consultants: in short, bringing in other skills and reducing your own risk exposure.

Alternatively, you may have the IP rights but someone else may have the business capacity – production, marketing etc – or the financial clout. A joint venture may be the best way forward.

Whichever route you choose, early advice could save some costly mistakes and help you to maximise the returns from your IP rights.

Of course, there are also opportunities for exploiting the IP of others whether by obtaining a licence or by entering into joint business ventures. A search, for example, of the patents database may save you a lot of wasted time in research and development whilst suggesting some opportunities for a new product range ! According to the Intellectual Property Office a third of all research repeats work that is already documented in patents.