Katherine Hedley: Disrupting the business of patenting 

Having worked in fast-paced digital startup companies that include fab.com, Katherine Hedley recently co-founded a new business, www.renewalsdesk.com, set to disrupt the industry behind intellectual property renewals.

Intellectual property is an important part of global business and with over eight million patents held worldwide. Renewing all of this IP can be both costly and time-consuming for entrepreneurs.

Annual renewal fees vary from country to country and also are dependent on the age of the patent, which can create confusion. Katherine spotted a gap in the market to create an automated process that simplifies the process of patent renewals.

“I found that many patent holders were really in the dark about their renewal fees and exactly what they were paying for,” she said, “they used patent attorneys to pay their renewals when really they didn’t need to.”

Katherine designed RenewalsDesk to allow patent-holders to upload their IP to the system and reliably calculate the renewal dates and fees for each patent. It then creates alerts for when fees are due and allows users to add a payment system to automatically renew each patent.

“The first step has been to talk to patent holders about their renewals and empower them to take control of their IP, many people have not been aware that their renewals are costing more than necessary,” she concluded.

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