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IP Matters

We explore why IP matters and how some of your favourite brands are heavily invested in securing their IP.

A BIPC officer having a one-to-one with a client.

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IP is a £64bn industry in the UK, yet it rarely attracts significant press coverage. It plays a vital role in protecting innovation, research and product development across our economy, yet it is often overlooked by smaller businesses. But now, thanks to a new service across the Tees Valley, entrepreneurs, small business owners and inventors can now access free, highly-valued IP support and guidance at their local central library.  

The new Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) Tees Valley has been established to help support local entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their business goals and ensure their IP rights are protected at every stage of their business journey.  

Based in Stockton Central Library, the BIPC Tees Valley has a dedicated team of business support professionals who can assist the region's business community secure all aspects of their IP, with assistance and guidance available on everything from trademark applications to copyright, and registered designs to patent searching.  

And with the BIPC Tees Valley expanding to Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Darlington and Redcar later this spring, support for business has never been easier to access.  

Working in partnerships with the Government's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the British Library, BIPC Tees Valley offers a unique opportunity for start-up businesses across the region.   

David Dixon and Scott Watson from Digital City agree. The pair have been supporting local entrepreneurs through a variety of schemes designed to help regional digital businesses start-up and growth at pace. David said: "We know that IP plays a huge part in the development of an innovative digital business. From securing the correct trademark to ensuring the intangible assets are correctly valued prior to M&A discussions, digital businesses are one of the biggest creators of unique IP across our region, so to be able to access this free support is invaluable."  

Paul Swalwell from BIPC Tees Valley also knows the value this type of support can have for start-ups and SMEs. He works with other BIPC colleagues across the country to support the PatLib network, an organisation created to help deliver the development of IP support and advice from the public library service. Each PatLib member has qualified and experienced staff who offers practical assistance on a variety of Intellectual Property Rights. Paul said: "The BIPC and PatLib networks are great tools for small businesses. Here you can confidentially chat through your query, discuss options and receive quality support and signposting to help support your business need."

Matt Jones is the BIPC Tees Valley business information specialist and the in-house IP lead. Matt said: "IP is a big part of the national economy. Research shows that over £60bn worth of investment is made across the country in assets that are protected by Intellectual Property Rights. This means that nearly 4% of GDP is invested in these areas and for smaller businesses who are investing their time and own money innovating and creating new products and concepts, these rights are designed to protect you and your business."  

Matt added: "We are delighted to be able to assist businesses across the Tees Valley with this. Listening to the businesses we have helped and the networks we work alongside, this was very much needed to support the high levels of innovation at play in an exciting time for our region."  

To book a one-to-one IP clinic with Matthew, please use the contact us form.