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Claire Rutherford

Definition IP

Definition IP provides expert intellectual property advice and services including patents, trade marks, registered designs, copyright and trade secrets. Vital elements to have in place for any aspiring inventor. 

The company’s founder, Claire has worked closely with Sara from the very early days of Crafter’s Companion. In fact, it was Claire who helped to protect Sara’s first invention – The Enveloper and they have continued to work together on the many innovations that have followed. 

Claire and her team at Definition IP have also supported a number of Sara’s Dragons’ Den investees as they embark on their own business growth journey.

About Claire & Definition IP

Patent Attorney and company founder, Claire brings a wealth of experience to the table. 

With a strong background in genetics and specialising in life sciences, particularly in medical devices, diagnostics, and molecular biology, Claire has refined her skills in drafting, filing, and prosecuting patent applications directly before the European and UK Patent Offices. Her expertise extends to managing expansive worldwide patent portfolios for multinational corporations, supported by her extensive network of attorneys. Claire has also provided invaluable support to numerous fast-growing businesses outside the life sciences field, helping them navigate the complex landscape of Intellectual Property.

At Definition IP, Claire serves as both a seasoned practitioner and a trusted strategic partner to clients ranging from start-ups to SMEs and developing companies. She offers tailored advice on intellectual property attainment, management, and leverage, ensuring that each client’s unique needs are addressed with care and precision. Whether guiding through funding stages from seed to IPO or conducting IP audits for SMEs and growing companies, Claire’s guidance is always thoughtful and commercially-focused.

In addition to their expertise in patents, Claire and the Definition team are proficient in assisting with registered design applications, trademark and copyright issues, and trade secret asset management. This multifaceted  approach ensures that clients receive comprehensive support across all aspects of intellectual property.

Why is Intellectual Property so important?

If you are embarking on the journey of product or business development, one of the foundational principles Claire advocates is to align intellectual property (IP) decisions with the business plan or what it is you are looking to achieve. This means that IP strategies should be integrated into the broader vision and goals. Whether it’s securing patents, trademarks, copyrights, or trade secrets, each element of IP protection should serve a purpose in advancing the business objectives or your end goal.

However, the importance of early IP planning goes beyond mere alignment with business goals. It’s about proactively avoiding potential pitfalls that could impede future IP protection opportunities. For instance, the timing of certain actions, such as public disclosures of inventions, can have significant implications on the ability to obtain patent protection. A patent application can only be validly filed if the invention has been kept confidential prior to filing. Thus, even an inventor’s own disclosure of an idea can inadvertently limit or prevent future patent protection. By recognizing these nuances early on, businesses can safeguard their intellectual assets and maintain flexibility in pursuing IP protection strategies.

Furthermore, considering IP implications at the outset allows for a holistic approach to IP management. Beyond filing patents or trademarks, it involves evaluating the competitive landscape, conducting IP audits to identify existing assets and potential risks, and implementing policies to protect trade secrets and proprietary information. By addressing these aspects proactively, businesses can establish a robust foundation for their IP portfolio while minimizing exposure to legal challenges or disputes in the future.

If this is all very new, a good place to start can be the UK Intellectual Property Office where there is a lot of helpful information where you can learn more about IP.