"You've got nothing worth investing in...so I'm out" is one of the scathing put downs frequently voiced on the business-focused BBC show called "The Dragons' Den" in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to investors, aka the dragons, in the hope of securing funds.

Aside from entertaining viewers with whacky inventions and acid put-downs, the show can in fact provide valuable lessons for budding entrepreneurs and SMEs. Why do so many of the hopefuls leave empty handed, and what is the recipe to the success of others?

A new idea, an attention-grabbing delivery, and a strong business plan can all make or break a pitch, but there is one key ingredient that is sometimes missing, despite being key to many investment decisions: intellectual property (IP).  

How can the Dragons be sure that their investment is worthwhile and that the product that they help to bring to the market will not simply be copied by a competitor? IP rights, particularly patents, are typically the answer. The show demonstrates time and time again that solid IP rights can clinch the deal, as was the case for Martin Chard and Jenny David and their marxman pen in the most recent episode.

So if you plan to pitch a business idea to a potential investor, make sure you know what IP there is in your business and whether it is adequately protected.  Contact us to find out more and increase your chances of hearing the coveted words "I'm in".