AS a new wave of budding entrepreneurs return to BBC’s Dragons’ Den, Intellectual Property Minister Lord Younger has called on aspiring inventors to make sure they know their intellectual property (IP) rights.

This comes as the demand to protect ideas, inventions, creative works and brands continues to grow in the UK.

In 2013, UK businesses, entrepreneurs, creators and designers filed more than 22,000 patent applications. In addition, there were also more than 5,000 designs registered, and trademark applications leapt by 15 per cent to more than 46,000.

Lord Younger said: “It’s encouraging to see so many people thinking outside the box and creating new, innovative products.

“However, if you’re investing time and money in something worth investing in, then you should make sure you know what your intellectual property rights are.

“The high number of patent applications we are handling is something to be proud of. Not only is this proof that UK businesses increasingly have great ideas they need to protect but also that our creative industries are thriving.”

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), which is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, recommends seeking professional advice before applying for a patent to make sure that the idea is worthwhile and that patenting is a viable option.

The IPO has a number of free business support tools, called IP for Business to help firms understand their IP.