Commercially Exploit Your Invention with the Help of Specialist Intellectual Property Advice


Tim Bishop

If you’ve already taken steps to protect your intellectual property, the next thing to do is to consult your IP lawyers about ways that you can make the most out of your development’s commercial potential.

It’s not always necessary to take the task on single-handed, as there are several ways in which you can harness the skills and expertise of others to help make your product a marketable proposition. And one option to consider is a franchise or distributorship, which will allow the technical expertise of the inventor to be matched with the investment of the franchisee and in combination, take the concept to market.


This arrangement suits physical goods, services and also rental businesses. In these situations, the two parties are entering into effectively a partnership, where one supplies the brand and the know-how, and probably some marketing support, while the other provides the manpower on the ground to sell and deliver the goods or services.

A franchise or distributorship is normally developed around a system that franchisees will use; controlling the delivery or production of the service, sales and marketing – basically giving an instant small business that is already made. Macdonalds is a well known example of this – their systemisation includes even the precise time that a burger is grilled for – providing a uniform brand, and a highly ordered system for franchisees to follow. Generally, a franchise is a much more expensive, and comprehensive agreement than that of a distributorship; and the investment needed for a franchise is usually greater. Usually a franchise is limited to a specific geographic area while a distributor has more freedom to trade.

Such arrangements will always require appropriate legal documents to be drawn up, to protect both parties in the agreement. The franchisor must take care that they protect any knowledge and expertise that the franchisee has access to so that it can’t be copied or taken advantage of at a later date; and you will need to let the franchisee know what they will receive by way of recompense as well as what they will have to commit to paying the franchisor as a turnover-based royalty.

In addition, thought needs to be given to an exit strategy for each party, should one decide not to continue with the agreement from a certain point in the future. Getting correct intellectual property advice at this stage is vital. Make sure that you have specialist IP lawyers to advise on the protection and the liabilities you will take on in signing such an agreement.

If you are looking for trustworthy

intellectual property advice

, speak to one of the specialist

IP Lawyers

at Bonallack & Bishop. Senior partner Tim Bishop is responsible for all major strategic decisions and has grown the firm by 1000% in 13 years. He has plans for continued expansion and sees himself as a businessman who owns a law firm.

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