Hyphen and Marks & Clerk form strategic alliance

Delighted to announce that leading intellectual property (IP) specialists, the Marks & Clerk Group, have launched a product design and IP consultancy service in partnership with my product design and development consultancy client, Hyphen Design. The Group’s consulting arm, Marks & Clerk Consulting, will now offer product development services with IP protection at the heart of the brief. In particular, consultancy will be provided for functional products such as professional equipment and tools, household and leisure products.

IP protection for functional products, in the form of a patent, grants a party the right to prevent others from exploiting its invention for up to 20 years. This allows a patent-holder to market their product and restrict imitation by competitors.

The consultancy provided by the new joint venture will assist entrepreneurs and in-house design teams in the designing of prototypes and production models, which maximise the protection that can be afforded to the designs. It will also support clients that need to redesign existing products because of IP concerns. The design and development process can be completely outsourced to Marks & Clerk Consulting or carried out in collaboration with an in-house design team.

The Marks & Clerk Group offers a range of IP services through its constituent firms, such as patent and trade mark filing through Marks & Clerk LLP, litigation support through Marks & Clerk Solicitors LLP and commercial advisory services through Marks & Clerk Consulting LLP. Launched in March 2012, the latter provides IP valuation services and financial analysis for royalty audits, licensing negotiations and mediation, patent landscaping and analytics.

Hyphen Design is a leading development and design company specialising in functional products. It has worked with companies such as Ericsson, Schlumberger and B&Q to develop products that are now widely available to consumers.

Simon Mounteney, Partner at Marks & Clerk Consulting LLP said:

“We have seen that many businesses, from start-ups to large corporates, need some extra help to get their product ideas off the ground, through the development stage and onto the production line. This is further complicated by the need to maximise the intellectual property rights that can be used to protect a product from competitors.

“Intellectual property in all its facets is firmly on the boardroom agenda across the business spectrum. Businesses realise that in order to secure their market position, they need to have their patents, trade marks and other rights in order. For the first time now, organisations can work with a proven new product development design service that is fully coordinated with intellectual property protection advice.”

Cameron Treeby, Managing Director of Hyphen Design Ltd, adds:

“In our experience, whether it be working with entrepreneurs that need a helping hand to make their idea a reality or in-house design teams at large companies, it is extremely important that intellectual property considerations be taken into account throughout the new product development process. This is why it is exciting to be working hand in hand with intellectual property specialists to integrate our respective areas of expertise in one offering.”