The North East’s digital and creative sector is matching innovative ideas with commercial savvy, according to the organisers of a high-profile event on developing and protecting new products.
The North East’s largest network for regional businesses Digital Union and UK Top 100 law firm Ward Hadaway co-hosted the ‘Plan It, Produce It, Protect It’ event, in Newcastle which explored the commercial and legal aspects of how businesses can go about identifying and planning a new product while getting on with day to day client briefs.
They were joined by Department of International Trade, E software firm Websand and branding agency Blumilk as the event focused on how businesses can monetise their products and tackle the legal issues around entering into licensing deals.
Speaking after the free event, Alex Shiel, Partner and Head of Intellectual Property at Ward Hadaway, said: “We got involved in the event and hosted it because we know from our work in the digital and creative sector that a growing number of businesses are advancing from just providing services to clients to developing those services into saleable products.
“When you are making that next step forward, it is crucial to ensure that your legal framework is right so that you can both protect the ideas which you have developed and exploit them to their fullest commercial advantage, not just in the UK but also on an international basis.
“It was very encouraging to see from the event that not only is the North East’s digital and creative sector home to a lot of good ideas but also that those behind the ideas are already thinking carefully about what they can do with those ideas.
Meanwhile, Rachel Peacock, Digital Networks Manager at Digital Union, said those who attended should now be armed with the tools and insider advice needed to protect their big ideas.
She said: “We’re really pleased with how the workshop went last night. Having two fantastic local businesses, a prestigious law firm and the Department of International Trade discussing key challenges and overcoming them in relation to digital products was great.
“We know there are a lot of great ideas out there, but it’s important for businesses to understand how to protect those ideas as well as generate income from them. Hopefully, the event gave everyone a better understanding of what next steps they need to take.”
Powered by Generator – The UK’s leading Music Development Agency providing business support to both the music industry and the wider, commercial and creative, digital industries – Digital Union supports, promote, celebrate and campaign on behalf of its membership of North East creative digital businesses.
The organisation has pledged that it will continue to host further events throughout the year to ensure that the region’s creative digital sector can continue to punch above its weight on a global scale and will work with the likes of Ward Hadaway on an on-going basis to ensure a bright and prosperous future for the industry.
“There was a good mix of businesses and entrepreneurs at ‘Plan It, Produce It, Protect It’, from those who have already developed products through people working on ideas to those who are considering starting out on a product development journey,” adds Alex Shiel.
“It all bodes well for the future of the region’s digital and creative sector and it would be great to catch up with the people we met at the event in a few months’ time to see how they are progressing.”
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