Start-ups neglect IP and miss out on funding

Are you prepared to confront copycats? Are you prepared to watch your competitors run off with funding that should have been yours? Plougmann Vingtoft – one of the leading firms within IP consulting – have made it a priority to put IP on the agenda for Danish start-ups. The goal is to make knowledge about IP rights more accessible.

Patents, trademarks and design protection. Some perceive these topics as less urgent than a meeting with the accountant, the setup of an office or the time spent networking. However, our experts and the range of investors in our network conclude that many entrepreneurs and start-up businesses consider their IP strategy way too late in the process, which means their funding options are limited.

Innovation in Denmark is booming, but way too many neglect the importance of IP rights, which can be costly in the long run. When you set up an IP strategy, you are forced to consider whether you need to protect your brand, the functionality of your product or the particular design. IP rights may not even be necessary in your market position, but if you want a strong business plan you should, at the minimum, be able to argue for your choice or dismissal of IP rights

Finn Strøm Madsen, CEO at Plougmann Vingtoft

Kim Neel Wyon is an investor and member of the network Danish Business Angels (DanBAN). He describes IP as one of the defining parameters when he considers investing in a start-up and their idea:

IP is many things. If you don’t have it, you’re going to be handicapped. If you and I go boxing and I have one arm behind my back – I probably have less of a chance to win than if I’d have two arms, right

Kim Neel Wyon, investor and member of Danish Business Angels (DanBAN)

He recommends that start-ups make it their priority to talk to an IP consultant just as they prioritize meeting with a lawyer or an accountant. It does not have to be a huge, expensive project, he says.

Watch the interview here:

The patent system is meant to encourage innovation

The market for IP rights is surrounded by myths like “IP is too expensive”, “it is complex”, and “only big corporations need patents”. This is exactly why Plougmann Vingtoft has made the start-up environment a priority – there is big potential in helping start-ups navigate in the IP-field.

“The patent system was originally established to encourage innovation, and it is our job to convert complex, legal matters to consulting that builds up a business,” says Finn Strøm Madsen, CEO at Plougmann Vingtoft.

Every day, IP consultants at Plougmann Vingtoft help firms protect their business, which makes them able to enter the market without being bypassed by competitors. In fall 2019, Plougmann Vingtoft started focusing more explicitly on the start-up-environment by introducing “IP Matters” – an annual donation of expert IP consulting, which is given to a Danish start-up that makes a difference in the world.

Read about the IP Matters donation.

This article was published in the Danish newspaper, Børsen Tech in 2019.