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Why every business plan should take account of intellectual property

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In Basic Facts About Trademarks: What Every Small Business Should Know Now, Not Later, one of the best video introductions to trade mark law I know in any country, the presenter Mark Trademan (yes that really does appear to be his surname) of the US Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Information Unit asked an audience of entrepreneurs and small business owners how many of them had a business plan. A forest of hands shot up. "How many of you with business plans have a trade mark component?" asked Mr Trademan. Silence. "OK, I was afraid of that."

The response would have been no different had Mr Trademan given his presentation here even though our own Intellectual Property Office warn in Before you apply for a patenton the British government website that "it’s pointless patenting an invention unless you have a proper plan for making money from it and can defend it against copying."

Everybody knows that a business plan is

"the vital component for any b…