So you’ve created something that is valuable and needs protecting…


Where do you go now? What’s the process to protect your IP?

Find out how we can help

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) is a raft of legal rights which have been developed to protect creations of the mind, such as technical or business know-how, ideas, inventions, products, processes, brands or aesthetic designs. These various IP rights allow you to own, control and be rewarded for your smart ideas and creativity.

Rather than being one straightforward law to call upon, IP protection however comes in five different “flavours”, which include patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and trade secrets.

IP comes from your, or your employees, creativity or intellect and is therefore “intangible”. However, just like all “tangible” personal property, it is a valuable business asset that can be bought and sold, leased or licensed. IP rights play a crucial role in bringing together the ingenuity of entrepreneurs with the investment needed to develop and bring new smart ideas and products to market.

Have you created a solution to a niggling problem that plagues day-to-day life and can see a market opportunity? If so, you should be thinking about protecting your IP rights.


Patents are monopoly rights which protect the technical and functional aspects of products and processes. Patents are applicable to all industries, and can protect how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of or how they are made.

Very generally speaking, in order to obtain patent protection an invention must be new and inventive over anything that has been disclosed before. Inventions that have already been made available to the public, by use or sale, cannot be patented, but subsequent improvements or enhancements can be.

All inventions must be kept secret until a patent application has been filed. If you do have a patentable invention, it is vitally important that you do not disclose your invention to anyone prior to filing a patent application (other than under strictest confidence), since any public disclosure before filing would prevent you from obtaining a valid patent.


Designs protect the aesthetic appearance of products. Most products will be subject to some design freedom, which at least in part could be protected. As registered designs are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain, they can provide a good level of protection against competitors who make confusingly similar products.

Trade marks

Trade marks are signs that are used to distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another. Trade marks usually include a word or words and/or a logo.


Copyright subsists in the things you write, make or create, such as original books, plays, musical works, art, films, broadcasts, design drawings, computer software, client lists, brochures, photographs and protects against direct copying.

Trade secrets

Trade secrets are a form of confidential information that can protect virtually anything. If you can keep the operation of a manufacturing process, for example, as a trade secret it can provide you with, in theory, everlasting protection as long as no-one can reverse engineer it.

Inspiring confidence in our clients

The IP Shed has helped many businesses, inventors and entrepreneurs secure protection on their IP.

Working with Les has been an absolute pleasure. As someone new to the business world, he put me at ease every step of the way and has been very supportive at each stage of the application process. Thank you for your patience and insight!

Tom Clarke, Arterfacts Ltd.

I have been using Les as my patent attorney for some years now and have found him quick to absorb the essence of an idea and very quick in putting the same into an application. His costs are always reasonable and his estimate of acquiring a patent very accurate.

David Williams, serial innovator

From the initial meeting to discuss the concept, through drafting and submission of the final application Leslie grasped the concept immediately, inspired confidence throughout and added real value to invention.

Jonathan Holt, Carista IP Ltd

It is a real pleasure to do business with someone who explains things jargon free and has a very approachable manner. It is really very settling to anybody that doesn’t deal with the legal profession on a day-to-day basis.

Brian Lunt, Eagle Research Ltd

We became clients of Culverstons 3 years ago and every step of the way Leslie has been precise, professional, informative and ensured we have understood the process required. Culverstons have also been transparent when it has come to cost, we have had no surprises. We always have open and honest straightforward conversations and Leslie always responds to any questions we have as it can be a complicated process. Culverstons have instilled us with confidence and belief and we have valued the service and support we have received during our journey of a patent.

Neil Sherlock, Sheerlock Ramps Ltd

I have been a client of Culverstons for over three years and would recommend their services to anyone who wishes to protect their intellectual property rights. Leslie Prichard has guided me through every stage of the patent application process and his experience has proved invaluable in planning and filing clear and comprehensive documentation for the long-term protection of my product both on a national and eventual international scale.

Leslie’s advice in one-to-one meetings, his genuine interest in the product from inception to prototype development, together with his links with the local authority are all reasons why I have been impressed with his services. On a final point, the Culverstons fees came in significantly less than the price commonly quoted in guidebooks as to the average patent protection cost. The higher fee may have meant not filing for protection at all. This is how important the Culverstons have been to giving my product the greatest chance of commercial success.

John Lamb, Sunhugga Inflatable Sunloungers

We applied for a relatively complicated set of patents for our IoT devices across a number of territories. Leslie gave us fantastic advice throughout, allowing us to get the protection we really needed without running up huge costs. He also made the process really easy for us, so we provided the key information on the product, and he handled the rest. I’d definitely recommend him if, like us, you don’t have much experience in patent applications.

Thomas Bennett, Drainage Management Services Limited

Getting started

Generally this involves an initial meeting to explore how we can assist you.

Since the founder of The IP Shed is a UK Chartered Patent Attorney, any discussions regarding your ideas are deemed to be “in confidence” and do not prejudice your rights to obtain IP protection.

The feedback we receive from our clients is that we are user-friendly and approachable, so please do get in touch here to arrange a discussion.

Contact us to get started