20 July 2013

Patent Box Roadshow in London

On 4 May 2013 I referred to the patent box roadshow that is trundling round the country (see "Patent Box Roadshows").. The patent box is an important tax concession that which came into force on 1 April 2013 in order to encourage innovation in this country.

On 12 July 2013 the roadshow came to the Liverpool embassy in London and I reported the event in our IP London blog (see "London Patent Box Workshop" 16 July 2013 IP London). There were three speakers, Howard Veares, tax director at BDO, Michael Sandys, head of commercial at Broudie Jackson Canter and me. You can download copies of our slides and handouts from here.

One of the strengths of our chambers is that we are not only strong in IP (see "We can now field a cricket team" 19 July 2013) but also in tax as we share space and facilities with Atlas Tax Chambers. One of the members of that set is Anne Fairpo who is an authority in IP and taxation.  Atlas and the IP Group work closely together.

I have put together the resources of our two groups on the patent box plus some links to some other useful sites in a new blog on the Patent Box. The London event was so successful that we are holding another at the Liverpool embassy on 13 Sep. This time Anne Fairpo will be the star speaker.   Tickets are likely to go like hot cakes so if you want to attend give us a call on 020 7404 5252 or complete our contact form.

09 July 2013

Identifying your USP - the Overlap between Design and Invention

Pat Ross is managing director of Genie Creative, a brand and marketing consultancy in Sheffield. 

On Monday 8 July 2013 he introduced Sheffield Inventors Group to the Unique Selling Point ("USP") which he defined as "a pre-defined difference (uniqueness)".that "sets you apart from your competitors and tells your customers what is special about you." He added "it is a key reason why those customers do business with you rather your competitors."

He then suggested a "few established and fairly simple ways" by which a business owner might find his or her USP:
  • Using his or her own personality
  • Exploring the intersection of ideas
  • Narrowing the target audience, and
  • Narrowing the topic.
He then presented his work for Bradfield Brewery as a case study.

Exploring the intersection of ideas is of course something that inventors do all the time. The example that Pat gave was the design of an office block in Harare that kept cool without air conditioning. The architect adapted the technique used by termites used to keep their mounds at an ambient temperature,   There are other overlaps between USPs and invention such as "narrowing the target audience" which is equivalent to "identifying the technical need" and "narrowing the topic" which is akin to developing the solution.

After the talk two of the Group's members presented their inventions to Pat and asked his advice on marketime them.  Pat gave other practical advice such as UK Steel Enterprise as a source of funding for innovation in South Yorkshire.  Pat invites inventors to contact him. An initial interview with him is free and his charges for subsequent work are flexible and affordable,  His number is 0114 234 8423 and his email is  pat@geniecreative.org.uk.