Intellectual property rights and entrepreneurship
An Intellectual Property Office case study

Page 1: Introduction

Listen to page 1

People have ideas all the time. In business, new ideas can lead to new products and services. They can lead to a better way of doing something. Ideas can come from existing businesses through research and development. For example, Apple, an established technology company, developed the iPod. Ideas generate value to the economy by encouraging people to buy or invest in new developments. Many...
Read full page

Page 2: What is an entrepreneur?

Listen to page 2
[audio= is an entrepreneur?]

An entrepreneur is someone that creates a new business. This can carry a high risk because it requires money to set up a new business without knowing if it will give a return on investment. Entrepreneurs need to have a good understanding of their markets. They find out what customers want and modify their products in line with market requirements. They also need to have good ideas. Matt...
Read full page

Page 3: Types of business

Listen to page 3
[audio= of business]

An entrepreneur must also decide what type of business to establish. There are three main types of small business. Each has a distinct form and structure. Sole trader A sole trader is a business owned by one person. Many plumbers, electricians, window cleaners and other trades people work in this way. A sole trader may employ other people to assist on jobs, to take phone calls or do the...
Read full page

Page 4: Why do entrepreneurs protect their ideas?

Listen to page 4
[audio= do entrepreneurs protect their ideas?]

It is important for anyone to protect his or her ideas. This allows them to benefit from their creativity without their ideas being directly copied and exploited by others. For entrepreneurs, the idea is often the entire basis for the new business. Without the idea, the business would not exist. Entrepreneurs invest money to develop business ideas. It is therefore essential that entrepreneurs...
Read full page

Page 5: How do entrepreneurs protect their ideas?

Listen to page 5
[audio= do entrepreneurs protect their ideas?]

There are four main categories of intellectual property rights (IPR). Each gives a different protection and is used for different purposes. Patents Patents are for inventions. Entrepreneurs can seek patents for a new product or a new process that can be used in industry. For example, James Dyson obtained a patent for his bag-less vacuum cleaner. A patent can protect the invention, preventing...
Read full page

Page 6: Conclusion

Listen to page 6

Entrepreneurs take great ideas like Innocent smoothies, the biOrb fish tank and the easyJet budget airline and bring them to market by setting up new businesses. They invest energy, time and money in developing new ideas. Starting up a new business is a high-risk activity there is no guarantee of return on investment. Registering patents, trade marks and designs protects them from being...
Read full page

Related: Intellectual Property Office
Case studies in Business Case Studies