Potter Clarkson is a full-service intellectual property law firm that helps companies, organisations and individuals across all sectors of business to understand, create, protect and defend the commercial value of their innovations anywhere in the world through intellectual property rights.

How do we help cleantech innovators maximise the value of their ideas?

Cleantech is essential to ensuring the world enjoys the best possible future.

Nobody will disagree that the need to find new ways to improve environmental sustainability, make greater use of renewable energy sources, find new sources of food and methods of agriculture, and discover alternatives to the man-made pollutants we have used for decades.

We can only achieve these objectives if we increase unprecedented level of innovation driving this sector.

However, as innovation increases, so too does the level of competition and, by extension, the likelihood your inventions and ideas could be misused or misappropriated.  Similarly, if your inventions are going to have the level of impact required to positively affect the environment, you may need to find partners or license your ideas.

This means your IP must be fully protected.

This is where we can help.  Our patent attorneys, IP solicitors and trade mark attorneys are cleantech specialists.

We will make sure your most valuable assets are not only fully protected but managed in a way that allows you to achieve the highest level of commercial value from your innovations.

Depending on the nature of your project, we can also call upon experienced attorneys from our chemistry, biotech, and engineering teams with, if required, the full support of our IP solicitors.

Together we will:

  • Help you create the right IP strategy (and use your strategy to attract investment)
  • Advise you on the most strategic use of all your intellectual property rights
  • Register your patents, designs and trade marks, and help you protect your trade secrets, world-wide
  • Provide patent, designs and trade mark infringement and validity opinions
  • Conduct patent, designs and trade mark searches and watches
  • Defend your IP rights, whether you are attacked via a patent or trade mark office or court proceedings
  • Enforce your rights against competitor infringement
  • Draft the commercial, IP and licensing agreements you need to capture, protect, and exploit your IP
  • Provide a wider commercial perspective you can use to build your business

To find out more about how we can help you maximise the value and impact of your cleantech innovations, please download our brochure [link to energy & cleantech brochure].

To find out more about how IP will give your business the strongest possible start and help you attract investment, please click here [link to Cleantech start ups and IP_white paper].

Or, to find out more about setting the best possible IP strategy, please click here [link to: creating-the-right-ip-strategy_nordic].

How do we help those looking to invest in new cleantech innovations make more informed investment decisions?

According to S&P, investment in cleantech this year will increase by as much as 20% compared with 2023.  There are many reasons the sector is so attractive to investors.  Cleantech is no longer a niche, it is now a global priority.  As such it offers rapid growth, huge market potential, the security of government support and an opportunity to invest more responsibly in terms of meeting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) demands.

However, although the time to invest in cleantech is most certainly now, you still need to have a complete view of the investment to make fully informed investment decisions.

Having worked alongside investors for decades, we know no one ever pitches to their weaknesses.  Companies will do their best to accentuate their strengths but given how much you plan to invest you can’t afford to simply take their word for it.  This is particularly true in respect of their IP which can appear nebulous and hard to pin down.  You need to properly assess:

  • The IP’s intrinsic worth to the business.
  • The extent to which it will help that business grow and enter new markets.
  • The IP’s value as an asset.
  • If the IP is adequately protected.
  • If the IP is properly managed.
  • Potential ownership issues.
  • Known FTO issues.

Unfortunately, traditionally IP DD has been a predictable exercise with very narrow parameters.  It can quickly become far too detailed and far too expensive, with insufficient depth and analysis that often delivers little more than a long list of IP rights, offering little insight as to their actual value.

To make the most informed acquisition decisions you need a complete view of the IP and confirmation your target has the required IP strategy and the IP rights in place to ensure it makes the financial and commercial contribution it must once the business is embedded in Astellas.  We do this by using the IP DD model we developed over the last 10 years whilst working with investors in the UK, Nordics, and Germany.  It has been deployed across multiple technology areas and has been used on deals of every size, most usually within the €2m-€50m bracket.

Our model covers:

  • A detailed review of their business plan from an IP perspective, including the technology roadmap.
  • The IP strategy they have in place to deliver that plan.
  • Assessing whether the IP they have (or don’t have) will support their business plan.
  • The ownership of their IP.
  • The way they manage their IP within the company (is it a board level consideration or is it managed at a lower level?).
  • How they plan to work with third parties to develop and market the technology, and the impact this may have on their IP strategy.

If you would like to find out more about our approach to IP due diligence, please click here [link to IP Due Diligence Investor White Paper].


How can trade secrets be used to better protect cleantech innovation?