15 May 2011

Life After Business Link: Innovatenow Ltd. and Baker & Co.

Under the previous administration Business Link was the principal channel through which businesses were able to access government support. In their white paper "Local Growth - Realizing Every Place's Potential" the Coalition were quite scathing about Business Link calling its services "generalist" and "poorly targeted" though they had to admit somewhat grudgingly that some of its services were good.

Not everybody would agree that that criticism was fair. There were some good people in Business Link Yorkshire. Three of the best, Jane Hurn, Michael Kilroy and John McSweeney, have set up their own consultancy in the Huddersfield Media Centre called Innovate Now. According to their website the services they offer include
  • coaching and mentoring
  • in-depth business diagnostics and transformation
  • strategic planning, and
  • project management and implementation.
They can be reached on 01484 487983 or through their contact form. We wish them luck.

Another of my old Business Link contacts, Steve Baker, who left Business Link a while ago, is now providing a range of accountancy services to SME in Yorkshire in the name or style of Baker & Co. He is practising from Rawdon and can be reached on 0113 322 6136. He also has our best wishes.

10 May 2011

Holmfirth Folk Festival

In the first weekend of May my home town hosts a folk festival. Music and dance are everywhere. Every bar or cafe has at least one singer. Every few square metres of open space a troupe of morris or rapper dancers. Here's a photo that I took of some English maidens dancing lustily to beguiling Latin rhythms.

We all have our favourite artistes, of course, and mine are a band from Lancashire called Ottersgear. These musicians produce a sound like none other and have a captivating stage presence. To see what I mean just watch and listen to some of the clips on their YouTube channel, particularly "Faery Glen" which was shot at our Picturedrome cinema on the last day of last year's festival, and "Sunflowers in my Head".

Much of the band's appeal lies in the voice of its lead singer, Mikey Kenney which is both powerful and poignant. In the intimate setting of a cafe bar where they performed "Sunflowers" on Sunday afternoon this hard bitten patent counsel found herself reaching for her tissues more than once as she forced back welling emotions. But perhaps the haunting quality of their music comes from their gifted accordionist, Charley Weatherill, though it would be unfair to single her, the mandolin player, the bodhran or even Kenney himself for special praise.

Pressure of work meant that I had only a limited amount of time this year. I did however catch Ottersgear on Friday evening at the Picturedrome where they performed with Steph Stephenson, Gary Stewart and Ellen & the Escapades and again on Sunday afternoon when I visited several venues. Here is a photo of one of my other favourites playing "Uncle Joe's Mint Balls".

"What has all this to do with intellectual property?" You ask. Well performances are intellectual assets which are protected by rights in performances under Part II of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. Also literary and musical copyrights subsist in the words and music of the songs. The names of bands can usually be registered as trade marks under the Trade Marks Act 1994. But really this is an excuse to blog about a delightful weekend in our lovely Pennine town. I'm sure my clients would agree that all work and no play would make Jane a very dull girl. Which I'm not really.