Starting a new business involves decisions which can significantly affect its long-term success. One of the most important is how to protect your new ideas (collectively referred to as “intellectual property” or “IP”) and innovative business methods against competitors.

Entrepreneurs need to know the right questions to ask when seeking this protection – and if it is really worth paying for specialist advice.

The Intellectual Property Office offer a selection of support tools to help you to identify what intellectual property (IP) you own and how to protect it.  Their support is aimed at different groups: businesses, advisors, university staff and students.

If you would like to learn more about IP in an accessible way follow this link to the IP Tutor.

This free, interactive CPD accredited e-learning tool will help you to understand intellectual property rights i.e. trade marks, patents, copyright and designs and uses case studies to show why intellectual property is important. Although developed for students it is very easy to follow.

IP Tutor provides four tailored learning pathways, each adapted to suit the needs of different areas:
• creative
• science, technology, engineering, maths (STEM)
• law, business and accounting
• humanities, including creative writing

The  IPO offer help in other ways too:

IP Equip

This free e-learning CPD accredited tool helps businesses and business advisors understand IP rights e.g. trade marks, patents, copyright and designs.

IP Equip contains 4 short modules and uses video case studies to show why IP is important.

IP Health Check

The IP Health Check online tool is free to use and will help you identify what IP you own and how to protect and exploit these assets. It’s broken down into the 4 IP elements covering patents, trade marks, designs and copyright, as well as advice on licensing intellectual property and managing confidential information.

By answering a series of simple questions a tailored confidential report will be created for you, based on the answers you have provided. The report will include;
• a list of recommended action points, to help you protect and exploit your IP rights
• an explanation of why each recommendation was made
• guidance on how to put each recommendation into practice
• links to useful information, websites and other resources

IP Master Class

This specialist CPD accredited course will enable you to develop a detailed understanding of IP and its relationship with business, culture and the economy, as well as sound practical skills you can apply to a business environment. You can complete the IP Master Class in two ways:

Run over 3 days, the classroom based course costs £250 + VAT. Dates the IPO will be holding courses over the coming year are advertised on their events calendar.

The course is also available online allowing you to take it in your own time and save it as you go. The cost for this is £200 + VAT.
The course content is the same as the face to face course and contains:
• videos from internal and external experts
• interactive quizzes on business scenarios
• case studies
• an IP review

For further information on the course or to register email