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 Reviewed by Alec Griffiths, IP Manager | 1 February 2024.

Harvest your Intellectual Property

Harvest your Intellectual Property

With over 90,000 companies projected to make an R&D claim in the UK in 2021-22, the Intellectual Property (IP) opportunity remains untapped for most SMEs. When only 1,500 companies make a Patent Box claim – something just doesn’t add. The really strange thing is that the R&D process conducted well should give you an excellent steer on whether or not you have a patent opportunity. So the big question – why don’t businesses, particularly SMEs, seek out a patent? In our experience, the answer is simple – lack of certainty, unpredictable costs, and unaffordable defence.

Here at Source Advisors, we change the IP conversation so the focus is on value creation and not just about protection. Businesses should not be intimidated by legal and academic jargon as the fundamentals of IP are easily understood and we can help you cut through the noise.

R&D Tax credit as a route into a patent that creates value

As many businesses know, the R&D tax scheme is available to a significant range of companies in different sectors and different sizes. If you’ve answered the questions asked by the R&D tax scheme then you will have already formed a picture of which innovations are patent ready. R&D tax is a positive influencer of innovation and companies should consider IP in the very same way.

In order for an innovation to be eligible for patentability the claimed invention must, in the opinion of a patent examiner, satisfy three criteria:

  1. It must be novel
  2. It must involve an inventive step
  3. It must have industrial application

In R&D language, novel and inventive aligns very closely to an advancement and not readily deducible by a competent professional. The one major difference is the application test, which basically means it must be a successful project.

We work with our clients to understand the value quickly and cost-effectively by starting with a simple question; Can you create value from your IP? With a simple yes or no, we want businesses to know exactly what they can get from investing in IP.

Harvest your IP

The common misconception for any IP is that it needs to stand up against all competitive pressures and be an impenetrable shield to have true value – this may well be true in high-end pharmaceutical companies but not for the 99% of other businesses. The more common value drivers tend to be:

  • A product unique selling point – giving extra kudos and value to a potential buyer of your products on an individual basis
  • Greater value when raising money – a patent pending/protected product may create more attention and value when it comes to investment
  • Patent Box –attaching a patent to profits to reduce tax liabilities by almost half

Source Advisors can help you harvest what you may have and let you know how significant IP could be to you. Through our depth of experience and well-trained eye, we can help identify the best way to create value from your IP and maximise the innovation tax incentives that innovative businesses deserve.

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