University of Nottingham
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Protecting your innovation

Intellectual Property (IP) used to be viewed as a specialised field of interest primarily to lawyers. But in today’s world, where ideas and innovation are the driving forces, IP has become a key factor in the success of businesses globally.

It is one of the key descriptors in the Research Development Framework (RDF) tool designed by Vitae to help ECRs evaluate their own professional and career development: “engaging in the commercialisation of intellectual property where appropriate”.

Intellectual Property (IP) used to be viewed as a specialised field of interest primarily to lawyers. But in today’s world, where ideas and innovation are the driving forces, IP has become a key factor in the success of businesses globally.
 

At YES, a key component of the business plan produced during the intensive three-day residential workshop is how the idea is protected, despite the focus being a hypothetical idea. This is especially important as patents, in the eyes of investors, are one of the few tangible assets. It is one of the main reasons that many ECRs take part in YES: to “learn about intellectual property; patenting processes and rules”; “how to acquire the rights to use the IP of others”; and “what’s the cost of filing”. All these topics are covered at the workshops.

IP as a career

We also have a growing number of participants interested in a career in IP and taking part in this type of experiential learning is a rare opportunity to learn about it. Many YES alumni have gone on to pursue a career as a patent attorney, despite never even considering it before undertaking the workshop.

Richard Gibbs specialises in biotechnology as a Chartered Patent Attorney and Partner at the Glasgow office of Marks & Clerk.

Richard took part in YES in 2000 during his PhD research in medical immunology and has taken part in the delivery of the competition ever since.

I’m a true scientist at heart but I’ve always wanted to apply it. I get to see some of the most cutting edge technology around: everything from a new cancer drug to an ingenious widget that improves prosthetic limbs. I also get exposed to more science now than at university.

One of the biggest challenges was getting into the profession. It wasn’t easy then and it isn’t now. YES gave me added confidence.

Richard Gibbs |
Chartered Patent Attorney and Partner
Marks & Clerk

 
 

Highly valued by industry

We believe it is important to encourage young scientists to think about the research they are doing as well as their own careers as potentially having commercial outputs. Every year, our volunteers are asked about IP as a career from a number of participants and it is heartening to see those people again a few years later when they join the profession. When we review CVs, being a YES alumni really does make the candidate stand out.

Dr Jane Wainwright |
Chartered Patent Attorney and Partner
Potter Clarkson

 

I can honestly say that my interest in IP began when I participated in YES. I had previously heard of patents and trademarks and knew a little about them, but YES brought the subject to life for me. The talks during the workshops involved experts in the field, and not only demonstrated the commercial importance of IP but also gave an insight into careers in the area. After YES, I began pursuing a career as a patent attorney.

Dr Mark Didmon |
Chartered Patent Attorney and Partner
Potter Clarkson

 
 
Forge a career as a patent attorney, visit the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) website

Young Entrepreneurs Scheme

  • Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Nottingham University Business School
  • Jubilee Campus
  • Nottingham, NG8 1BB