1 November 2017

Initial Advice and Signposting

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Open Government Licence V1.0

Jane Lambert

On 9 Oct 2017, I wrote about How to Access Specialist IP Services in Yorkshire for FreeShortly after that article appeared I received a message through my contact form that began with the words:
"Hi Jane, I noticed some information that you posted on http://ipyorkshire.blogspot.co.uk/.I am looking for some advice and feel like I am trying to find my way in the dark."
I have every sympathy with that person. There is no shortage of intellectual property advisors in Yorkshire or anywhere else. The problem is knowing whom to approach and where to start.

That's where I can help. In my many years of practice at the intellectual property bar (most of which have been spent in the North of England) I have come across most of the patent and trade mark attorneys in Yorkshire as well as many of the solicitors who specialize in IP work. I also know many of the other professionals who can help you such as product development consultants and specialist IP insurance brokers. Having run patent clinics at one time or another in Barnsley, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield. Leeds, Rotherham and Sheffield and the Leeds and Sheffield inventors' clubs I have worked closely with the Business and Intellectual Property Centres at LeedsSheffield and Hull Central Libraries. They provide all sorts of useful services such as patent searching, lots of useful courses on such matters as basic intellectual property rights and business planning and most if not all of the technical and marketing resources that you are likely to need.I can introduce you to those services and resources.

Here is how I replied to the enquiry I mentioned above:
"The main free resources that exist in Yorkshire are the Business and IP Centres in Leeds, Sheffield and Hull, the IP clinics operated by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys in various parts of the country including Leeds and Sheffield and my clinics at Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre which take place on the second Tuesday of every month between 16:30 and 18:00 (see Supporting Enterprise, Innovation and Creativity in South Yorkshire 7 Sept 2017 IP Yorkshire)."
I also gave some initial advice on IP strategy:
"The best way to identify the IP protection you need is to consider your business plan and ask yourself the following questions:
  • What are likely to be my main sources of revenue during the period of the business plan?
  • What are the main threats to those revenue streams? These are likely to be commercial like competing products or changing tastes and fashions but there may be legal threats like plagiarism.
  • What are the main countermeasures that I can take against those threats? Most of those will be commercial such as reducing prices or developing new product ranges or markets but there may be some legal measures such as a patent for a vital new product or a design registration.
  • Remember that there is often a choice of legal countermeasures. A new product, for example, can be kept under wraps for a while and disclosed in confidence only to those who need to see it or you can publish it to the world in exchange for a patent.
  • Make sure you can fund an infringement claim or revocation action. That usually requires specialist IP insurance but there are other options."
I then addressed the specific issue and invited the enquirer to make an appointment to attend my next pro bono clinic in Barnsley on 14 Nov if he still had questions.

The first step is to fill in this form:

Now I don't know the answer to every intellectual property question but I can help with a lot of them (see "My Services in Yorkshire"). However, if I can't resolve a problem by myself the chances are that I know someone who can.

I will not charge for this initial advice or signposting though there may be a charge if you want to instruct me for any of my other services. There may also be a charge from any of the other professional service providers to whom I may refer you. If there is, I and all the other service providers will agree the charge or charging basis before starting work.

If you want to discuss this article call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact page.