Entrepreneurs ignore IP

Entrepreneurs in the UK are not concerned about protecting intellectual property (IP) and do not see it as a barrier to success according to a survey carried out by VentureNavigator, the online service for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Respondents also revealed that their primary motivation behind starting a business was not financial reward, which came third in the list, but passion about the idea and wanting to be their own boss.

The survey also asked those from young businesses to identify what they see as the main barriers to success when starting up. The top two responses were a ‘lack of money to invest’, chosen by 44%, and ‘fear of failure’, with 19%.

Janice Pittis, project director for VentureNavigator, said: “The fact that IP is not at the forefront of start-ups minds is troubling. It’s common practice to protect physical assets with security systems and CCTV cameras, but these are not nearly as critical to a business’s success as the idea and IP. Passion for starting up on your own cannot act as legal protection of your brilliant idea and hard work.”

Matthew Dixon of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, was similarly concerned: “Getting good IP protection is crucial for start-up businesses. An entrepreneur who is developing an innovative product or business model needs to be able to keep copycats and ‘me-too’ operators at bay. Without strong protection the investment in the business can be at risk and that’s why getting good advice at an early stage is so important.”