Peter McBride | I AM
What drew you to a career in intellectual property and do you have any advice for anyone considering a similar career path?
I started my career in intellectual property out of an interest in the relationship between technology, law and business, as well as a desire to ensure that innovators are fairly rewarded. Over time, I have become fascinated with the strategic aspects of intellectual property management and continue to learn new things every day!
The only thing new entrants need to focus on is the passion and enthusiasm for innovation and customer service. Our job is to build long-term relationships. Ultimately, successful practitioners are those who demonstrate empathy and a genuine passion and concern for the interests of their clients.
What are the biggest challenges SMEs face when it comes to developing a patent portfolio?
We work with a healthy mix of large and small clients. We get a creative buzz from both and find that the corporate mindset helps our SME clients plan for the development of their businesses, while their agile and creative mindset keeps us on our toes and provides information that makes us better advisers. We do a lot of work on general intellectual property strategy, and although a strategy changes focus for different sizes of organizations, there are some common basic principles that still apply.
Of course, for an SME budget is a major concern and therefore we offer flexible tariff arrangements, make optimal use of the patent system and consider alternative strategies (e.g. trade secrets and defensive publications). However, perhaps more importantly, an SME must have the right procedures in place from the start and ensure that the leadership and corporate culture encourage investment in intellectual property.
How is the Scottish IP scene different from the UK IP scene – and what advice do you have for innovators trying to take advantage of these differences?
Scottish Patent Attorneys are European patent attorneys and are part of the UK patent profession, along with our colleagues from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
So in Scotland you will find the full range of services you expect from any European patent attorney firm, with the same quality and historic British heritage that you will find elsewhere in the UK, but with our identity. and our unique dynamism.
Beyond bagpipes and whiskey, you will find a pole of excellence for the IP profession, led by IP firms with a global vocation, building on the foundations of a dynamic local innovation scene with particular strengths in a wide variety of industries, such as photonics, Internet of Things (IoT), life sciences, fintech, enterprise software, renewables, oil and gas.
Your company has an impressive track record of partnering with professional organizations such as Technology Scotland to drive innovation – what do such partnerships involve and what impact do you think they will have on the intellectual property ecosystem?
Our partnerships are a key part of investing in our local ecosystem. We believe Scotland is a great place to establish a tech company, with great access to start-up support and investment. Accessing larger capital has traditionally been more difficult but we see more and more movement to capitalize on these foundations, and our mission through our partnerships is to ensure an attitude of excellence in the management of the property. intellectual. This is why we offer our clients strategic advice and intellectual property management alongside our regular filings of patents, trademarks and registered designs, so that intellectual property can be a springboard for the creation of value and the business growth. Our partnerships allow us to promote intellectual property to the local community and raise the bar for Scottish businesses in general, while forging links between local businesses and our own international networks.
How do you think the patent space will evolve as more industries are affected by IoT and technological convergence?
The pace of change is amazing and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon! It is clear that companies that do not anticipate the sequel will be left behind.
Over the past decade, every business has grown into a software business and data has become the main currency. Today, IoT and AI tools are becoming relevant for more and more industries.
It is now clear that the priorities of an effective IP strategy lie in how to facilitate collaboration and anticipate trends for long-term scenario planning. There is never a dull moment!