Protecting your IP in a co-working space

Protecting your IP in a co-working space

Tom Lingard, Partner & Head of Intellectual Property offers advice on how to ensure your game is protected.

Co-working is an increasingly popular trend that looks like it’s here to stay. The practice of freelancers and small-business owners working, networking and drinking cold-filtered Americano in a shared environment is becoming ever more prevalent in all types of business.

Whilst co-working space is obviously a useful resource for young companies and entrepreneurs, it’s important to be aware of the risks, particularly when it comes to protecting your creative output. 

Co-working spaces can take many forms, from fully-serviced office suites with shared facilities, to a friendly kitchen table. For most young entrepreneurs looking to launch a new business, keeping costs down is absolutely paramount. Without knowing how successful your business is going to be or how fast it may expand, it’s very difficult – with limited resources – to commit yourself to a 12-month contract by renting a more traditional workspace. Co-working spaces generally offer flexibility and lower costs; you can buy daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly passes which will allow you access to all the facilities available.

Not only are these spaces affordable but they also offer the opportunity to expand your business networks. More often than not, co-working spaces are occupied by an assortment of tech professionals, all looking to surround themselves with talented and creative people. Several co-working organisations also play host to events to encourage networking and the cross-pollination of ideas.

Moreover, creative thought through collaborative working is also something which appeals to many young entrepreneurs. Invariably, we’ve all had moments at work where we just can’t work out the solution to our problem. With such a high concentration of bright people in one space, you’re much more likely to find an answer in a more efficient manner.

Discussing ideas and bouncing them off other people is a key component of co-working spaces – but this comes with its own issues. 

Click here to read the article in full.
First published in Develop, May 2016

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