Early stage advice

A stitch in time..?

The most rewarding part of our job is meeting companies and individuals with new ideas, getting to grips with the technology involved, and understanding how it’s to be brought to market. From the beginning we need to discuss with you how intellectual property fits into your model and how it will help your business to prosper.

IP is a tool for business, never an end in itself.

Our role in early stage innovative projects, once we fully understand your plans, is typically to assess and advise on:

  • whether expenditure on intellectual property is worthwhile
  • the likelihood of obtaining worthwhile protection, for which purpose it may often be appropriate to undertake searching for “prior art”
  • the types of protection best suited to your innovation
  • how to go about obtaining that protection in a a way that fits your plans and your budget.

Not every great idea can be protected and not every business needs intellectual property. A candid view on whether you need our assistance is one of the first pieces of advice that we will give you.

We also advise on the oft-neglected issue of “freedom to use”, since even organisations with the best of intentions can unwittingly fall foul of the intellectual property rights of others and often the first sign of a problem is a strongly worded “cease and desist” letter. The knowledge and the confidence to give clear, direct and where necessary outspoken advice in this potentially dangerous area comes from professional experience, which is our long suit at Bartle Read.

Where others hold problematic IP rights, a creative “design around” strategy may be needed, something we can often assist with.

Always keep in mind that if an invention is disclosed outside the bounds of confidentiality before a patent application for it is filed at the Patent Office then the right to a patent is forfeit. Urgent action is - not infrequently - required to prepare an application prior to publication, and we will always do our best to assist in such circumstances!

Working with us

We know the law but it’s you that best understands your technology and your market. Strong patents that serve your commercial goals are typically the result of a close and lasting collaboration between patent attorney and client. Client relationships are all important to Bartle Read and in order to foster them we are:


 …in the way that we work with you. Lines of reporting should be set up for your convenience, not ours.


We will often need you to take decisions or to give technical input, but in matters of patent law it is always us that should be proposing solutions to problems.

Plain Spoken

Patents and patent law are ridden with jargon but it’s our job to make sense of it for you, not to bamboozle you with it.
Got a question? Please don't hesitate to ask it Contact us

Bartle Read
Liverpool Science Park
131 Mount Pleasant
Liverpool L3 5TF
United Kingdom

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