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Enter the Dragon's Den at your peril

Those of you who have ever watched Dragon’s Den on BBC2, will know that there is more to inventing than meets the eye, in particular the Dragon’s are concerned about protecting any investment that they make from copy cat manufacturers who will make a million after all the hard work has been done.

One of their pet peeves, are those people who enter the Dragon’s Den with seemingly fantastic ideas that are going to make billions for everyone who then turn out to have little or no evidence of being aware that they may need to have a patent in place.

Patents are one a whole family of products that come under the loose title of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) management and they cover inventions that people have. A patent protects new inventions and covers how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. It gives the patent owner the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without permission. If you have invented something and would like to apply for a patent, then it must meet the following criteria before an application can be made:-

– be new
– have an inventive step that is not obvious to someone with knowledge and experience in the subject
– be capable of being made or used in some kind of industry

It must not be:

– a scientific or mathematical discovery, theory or method
– a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work
– a way of performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business
– the presentation of information, or some computer programs
– an animal or plant variety
– a method of medical treatment or diagnosis
– against public policy or morality.

You can get more information on Patents from the following websites:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/patent.htm
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/
http://nip.blogs.com/patent/2004/09/guide_to_downlo.html – US information
http://patentpending.blogs.com/

Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational counsellor, coach and women's health advocate. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in change management, culture change and adoption of digital technologies in large enterprises and organisations. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

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