Intellectual property is the creation of the mind: it can be music you wrote, the software you built, the clothes you’ve designed, ingredients of a recipe or even the formula you came up with to create a vaccine for COVID-19.
It has just as much value, if not more as any tangible asset and yet so many inventors don’t think of it as such. In the last decade, we have seen a growth in the number of patent & trademark applications – as it has increased by 5.2% every year.
But let’s put all of this in numbers, so you can see how much of the UK’s economy is actually tied to Intellectual Property.
The gaming industry in the UK generates £2 billion in revenue from exports – typically it is protected by copyright and trademarks. Whilst the idea and the story behind a video game cannot be copyrighted, it still covers the graphics, music, software, the code used to create the game as well as the brand.
With the UK being home to world-wide known companies such as Rolls-Royce, Unilever & BT. Patent and design rights contribute to 12.9% (GBP287 billion) and 11.6% (GBP266 billion) respectively to the British economy.
When you think of Vodafone’s iconic logo or the shape of your Coca Cola bottle, it might seem just an imagine that you associate with the company – but in fact it’s worth billions of dollars. In 2019, Coca Cola’s brand was valued at £65.76 billion US Dollars – meaning without it’s actual brand, at a valuation of £153 billion – it puts almost 50% of its value on branding (trademarks) alone.
These numbers tell you why it is important for countries to support an effective patent, trademark & design rights filing system.
However, many companies – especially smaller startups miss out on the value that their brand and possible IP rights can bring to the company. It requires investment of both money & time, with the most inexperienced IP owners often not seeing the value, estimate the cost or fail to reach out for advice – as that can be expensive as well and not an easy to navigate field.
By owning IP you can increase a company’s value significantly – if they have a patented invention and it certainly makes it valuable for the host country to export products that are protected.
Head of Ventures
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