Five minutes with … David Bloom, Safeguard IP
Each week Managing IP speaks to a different IP professional about their life and career
Welcome to the latest instalment of Managing IP’s ‘Five minutes with’ series, where we learn more about IP lawyers on a personal as well as a professional level. This time we have David Bloom, founder of IP insurance broker Safeguard IP in the UK.
Someone asks you at a party what you do for a living. What do you say?
I help protect the future of UK innovation.
Talk us through a typical working day
My workday could not be more different from when I was a patent litigator where one case could take up a year of my life. As a small business owner, every day is different and presents different challenges but they are always full.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently helping a client through an interesting patent enforcement claim in the US. My role is to advise my client on the scope of cover and help facilitate its relationship with the insurer.
Does one big piece of work usually take priority or are you juggling multiple things?
Although the IP insurance market is growing rapidly, lack of awareness is the biggest issue facing the industry. The majority of IP owners are unaware they can insure their assets so whilst I do juggle a number of different things my main goal, every day, is to raise awareness as much as I can.
What is the most exciting aspect of your role and what is the most stressful?
The most exciting part of the job is seeing the policies in action and actually funding my clients’ claims. It is very satisfying. The most stressful aspect is when my clients have claims because, regardless of whether they are funded or not, it is an extremely stressful process, especially for smaller businesses where it can be a matter of life or death. My role is to help them as best as I can through this process.
Tell us the key characteristics that make a successful IP lawyer/professional.
Aside from being knowledgeable about IP, I think the key characteristic is enthusiasm. Selling the importance of IP to UK business owners is not always easy, it rarely seems high on the list of priorities but if you are passionate about the benefits of IP you can get your message across far more effectively.
What is the most common misconception about IP?
It’s not so much a misconception but the general lack of understanding of IP amongst SMEs in the UK continually surprises me. Only a small minority of companies have a culture where IP is truly understood and valued and this needs to change.
What or who inspires you?
A bit of a cliché but my mum is a huge source of inspiration. She’s 78 years young, still works full time for a charity, and still has the same passion for it as she did 20 years ago. She’s a great example of when you love what you do it’s not really work. I feel lucky enough to be in that position.
If you weren’t in IP, what would you be doing?
I’d be an iceberg mover. One of the under-reported side effects of climate change is the proliferation of large icebergs in shipping channels around the Arctic and Antarctic. This has increased demand for iceberg movers, which sounds like a fun gig and apparently pays reasonably well…
Any advice you would give your younger self?
As a long-suffering Spurs fan (one trophy in over 30 years) I think I would advise my younger self to start supporting Manchester City – I’d be pretty happy right now.