Securing Intellectual Property Protection for Software

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What will the talk cover?

Many companies are now platform-based or use software to drive their processes and customer interaction.  How that software can be protected from competitors is often a concern for companies, but frequently overlooked.  There is also a view that Intellectual Property (IP), and patents especially, cannot be used to protect software.  This is a myth; so, to help dispel that myth, in this talk, we will discuss what IP protection is available for software and computer-implemented innovations, and how to go about securing the IP. 

To help guide attendees, this will be accompanied by examples of where patent protection is available for software, and where it is not, along with real world examples where patents have been obtained for software related technology.

The talk will also include a recap on the core areas of IP and some of the everyday IP practicalities of that can enhance the value of a company, which we covered in detail in our previous talks in February and March 2020. 


Key takeaways 

·        Guidance on what IP is available for software and computer implemented innovations

·        Pointers to help identify when software may be patentable

·        When IP protection can be of use to startups and fast growing companies


Who will be speaking?

Alistair Holzhauer-Barrie is a UK and European Patent and Design Attorney and Senior Associate at GJE with over a decade of experience in the industry.

Alistair works with a wide range of technologies in the physics, engineering, electronics and software fields, drafting and prosecuting patents for medical devices, camera equipment, musical instrument interfaces and many others innovative products and processes. In addition to this, Alistair focuses on advising start-ups and SMEs on intellectual property strategy and how to tailor their IP, including patents, to a business plan making sure the IP complements the strengths of a business and can be used to enhance the growth of a business.


The experience Alistair has gained from his focus on IP strategy, patent drafting and prosecution has led to him successfully obtaining grant of patents that protect products with multimillion sales values and playing a key role in the IP due diligence on a company acquisition worth tens of millions of pounds.


Who are GJE?


Gill Jennings & Every LLP (GJE) is a leading firm of European patent and trade mark attorneys which combines a relentless focus on high-quality IP services with an innovative approach to providing strategic and consulting advice to clients and investors. We act throughout the EU – through both our London and Munich offices.


We are recognised as a leading European IP firm by the Financial Times, being listed joint first place on the Financial Times leader board of top firms in the “Europe’s Leading Patent Law Firms 2021” annual awards. The firm received six Gold awards out of the six awards available – the best result among a total of 168 recommended firms that were assessed. GJE achieved Gold in the following fields: Materials & Nanotechnology, Chemistry & Pharmaceuticals, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, IT & Software, and Biotechnology & Food.


We work with an extensive and varied list of clients - from early-stage start-ups all the way through to global brands, and everyone in-between.


The firm works closely with a plethora of industry giants, many of whom are Forbes listed. Clients include Proctor and Gamble, producer of many of the UK's most well-known household brands from Pantene to Gillette. GJE prosecutes and defends a very active, high-value IP portfolio of currently over 1200 patents and patent applications across 70+ countries for the world’s leading banknote supplier, De La Rue. GJE work closely with the in-house IP at JT International, who produce 9 of the world’s most popular cigarette brands. A new focus on reduced risk products has seen the client enter a highly disruptive field, leading them to work more extensively with GJE as a firm.


Filing a well-prepared patent, trade mark or design registration may be critical to the future of your business. How it is written defines not just your innovation or identity but also the competitive landscape you wish to operate in. But there is more to intellectual property than filing a document. Other things to consider will include the amount of potential or unidentified IP in your business; the level of competition in your industry; licensing the technology to others; and key target markets. GJE’s attorneys consider all these issues and provide solutions to both grow and protect your business.