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The relevance of Intellectual Asset strategies for SMEs in the Agro-foods Sector Andrew Beale O.B.E. Director, IP Wales®

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Presentation on theme: "The relevance of Intellectual Asset strategies for SMEs in the Agro-foods Sector Andrew Beale O.B.E. Director, IP Wales®"— Presentation transcript:

1 The relevance of Intellectual Asset strategies for SMEs in the Agro-foods Sector Andrew Beale O.B.E. Director, IP Wales®

2 IP Wales® £3.5m business support project (part funded by the European Union) run by the Law School at Swansea University to help SMEs within the Region:- Understand IP Protect their IP assets Commercialise their IP assets. Our Chairman – Lord Griffiths (Vice Chairman Goldman Sachs International)

3 Understanding IP assets Free Online IP Guide Over 2000 SMEs have accessed our on-line IP Guide responding to our promotional message that IP assets can be used to protect and/or add value to their business. Motivation for contacting IP Wales®: 39% patents, 25% general IP, 15% trade marks, 12% copyright, 6% licensing, 3% designs. Since the expiry of our European funding the continuation of this service has been financed by the Welsh Assembly Government

4 Protecting IP assets IP Wales has supported a total of 162 SME projects from 109 Welsh SMEs helping them to acquire the following assets via 50% grants: Projects Patents Trade Marks Designs Total Since the expiry of our European funding this service is now provided by the Welsh Assembly Government

5 Patents UK53 PCT45 EP34 USA31 Canada10 Australia5 Germany4 China2 France2 Italy2 Japan2 New Zealand2 Norway2 Poland2 Spain2 Brazil1 Hong Kong1 India1 Ireland1 Israel1 Singapore1 South Africa1 Total205

6 Trade Marks UK23 CTM20 USA13 Canada2 Australia1 New Zealand1 Total60

7 Registered Designs UK3 USA3 CDR2 Australia1 Canada1 France1 Germany1 Total12

8 Commercialising IP assets 1.IP is seen as crucial for company growth © QED Intellectual Property, 2003

9 Commercialising IP assets 1.Little formal IP planning © QED Intellectual Property, 2003

10 Nature of IP (Question1) We would have expected to see know-how showing a higher percentage than patents, as SMEs typically trade on their know-how and levels of expertise. This perhaps suggests that the respondents may undervalue their know-how, possibly because it does not represent formal IP like a patent or trade mark.

11 IP role and importance of IP protection Importance of IP protection (Question 14) Not relevant Main role of IP (Question 5) Nice to haveUsefulCritical Tradable asset Licensing Monopoly Defensive A A B C D E F G H I JK L M N O P This chart shows that 8 out of 16 companies intend to use their IP in a licensing role and all understand the importance of IP protection.

12 Conclusion Experience of IP Wales Main ingredients for the success of a SME knowledge based business are management, finance and access to advanced technology & know-how. Finance looks for good management teams, poor management teams rarely find finance. A better management team will make more commercial use of a poorer technology than a poorer management team will make of a better technology.

13 Case Study

14 CASE STUDY Halen Môn Sea Salt was developed in a saucepan on the Aga cooker in the family kitchen and is now used in 8 of the top 50 restaurants around the World including...



17 Salt making process begins with pure charcoal-filtered sea water drawn from Wales Menai Straits (Gulf Stream & strong double tide with no large cities or polluting industries upstream). The warm sea water has already passed through two filters: a mussel bed of several thousand tonnes (with each mussel filtering up to 5 litres of water an hour), and a sandbank which ensures no fish or seaweed are unwittingly trapped.

18 CASE STUDY The filtered warm clean sea water is gently heated in a vacuum which encourages it to almost boil at a low temperature. As the water releases steam it is concentrated into very salty brine. The steam that is produced is used, in its turn, to heat the brine. When the concentration of salt in the water is high enough it is release into shallow crystallisation tanks.

19 CASE STUDY In the quiet of the night delicate crystals begin to form, first on the surface then sinking as they grow. In the morning the salt is harvested then rinsed. Finally, the salt is carefully dried. Ten days after it was drawn from the sea the salt is ready to be packed.

20 CASE STUDY Halen Mon sea salt contains 30 key trace elements which are specific to the area. These elements are considered essential to imparting flavour - in wine terms it has a terroir - sea salt tastes different from different seas.

21 CASE STUDY Product Differentiation Natural product derived via a process patenting v know-how High quality product with a unique taste derived from the special qualities possessed by sea water in the area GI v trade mark

22 CASE STUDY Halen = welsh word for salt Mon = welsh word for Anglesey



















41 Thank you for your attention and I hope your interest Andrew Beale Director, IP Wales®

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