Tag: IP

IP Protection: Strategy vs. Company Culture

Intellectual property underpins tech innovation. By protecting ideas, unique technology and processes, creativity and innovation can grow. Patents are the fundamental safety net for both tech start-ups and established players.

Concepts can move past the ideas stage and the industry can create unique products and services to benefit consumers and society.

At Prevayl®, our approach to IP protection is fundamental to our business strategy. Understanding and awareness surrounding IP is also a key pillar of our company culture, underpinning how we work as a business.

The question for many businesses, is why the importance of company culture when it comes to IP protection?

The Sonos conundrum

IP protection and company culture has been highlighted by the recent news of Sonos’ claim against Google for patent infringement relating to their speakers.

The two companies have a collaborative relationship.

For Sonos, the collaboration went too far when in 2013, their Execs handed over the blueprints for their speakers to Google when working together to incorporate Google’s music service directly into the speakers.

The lawsuit relates to Google’s subsequent speaker products, with Sonos alleging these infringe their patents.

Striking the right balance

“Start-ups with a clear IP strategy can be more creative and agile in protecting their ideas. This ultimately gives them an intellectual property currency in technology segments.” David Newns, Prevayl Co-Founder and Strategic Advisor.  

This is essential for all tech start-ups. Without it, there is no opportunity to grow, innovate and ultimately bring products to market. That’s the first step.

David got to the crux of the matter when he said: “Companies big and small need to rethink their internal culture to IP.”

This is where many businesses continue to fall down. The importance of intellectual property simply has to be ingrained into all levels of a business, from start-ups to major industry players.

Forgetting this and taking a collaborative relationship too far, clearly can have consequences.

Prevayl’s approach to IP

At Prevayl we’ve invested in our approach to IP and made it a fundamental aspect of our business strategy from the outset.

We have an in-house team that began filing patent applications from day one. This continues daily, providing our team with the safety net to protect our ideas and ensure innovation can drive our products and business forward.

We’ve also made sure that it permeates into every layer of our business. Our IP team collaborate with all departments within the company from idea stage, right through to conception and delivery. Everything is protected.

Knowledge sharing, collaboration and protection within our business ensures every team member knows the importance of IP and understands the value of their ideas.

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Innovation and the importance of intellectual property rights: Sam Bird, IP Director

At Prevayl®, our intellectual property is one of our most valuable assets. Since the company’s inception in April 2019, we have filed 79 patent applications relating to the technology we continue to develop.

As part of our intellectual property strategy, we have an in-house department consisting of patent attorneys that work to ensure any intellectual property generated from within the business is identified and protected in the best possible way.

Today we’re catching up with Sam Bird, Prevayl’s IP Director, and Chartered and European Patent Attorney.

Sam is a specialist in protecting electronics and software inventions and has a master’s degree (First Class Honours) in Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College London.

Why is intellectual property protection so important for tech businesses?

Any tech business, from start-ups to established market leaders, must protect their intellectual property rights.

Intellectual property rights are essential for innovation. When a business patents its ideas, it is the only entity that can take commercial advantage of those patentable ideas. This creates the room for that business to innovate and develop unique products and services that ultimately benefit consumers in the long run and help society to grow.

Without these rights around intellectual property there wouldn’t be the safety net to develop products past the idea stage. Innovation would be impeded, which would ultimately result in stagnation of the tech industry. The ability to patent your ideas underpins everything.

Is that why it’s so crucial for Prevayl?


The team at Prevayl continues to come up with new ideas and concepts every single day. To bring these ideas to fruition in the form of products and services, protecting our IP rights has to be fundamental to our business approach.

How are you doing things differently at Prevayl?

We’ve invested in this side of the business from the outset, ensuring that we have an in-house team that began filing patent applications from day one. To date in 2019, we’ve filed 79 patent applications.

We’re also encouraging inventors from across the business. Bella Hepworth, our Apparel Design Director is a great example. Since joining Prevayl, Bella is listed as a sole inventor on a number of our patent applications. Bella is addressing the under representation of women inventors (accounting for just 13% of patent applications worldwide).

As a business, we’re embracing diversity in the tech industry.

Finally, what’s next for Prevayl and IP in 2020?

It all comes back to innovation. As the team continues to come up with unique, creative and new ideas, it’s our job to make sure that they are protected to eventually become part of our product suite.

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