Finally! Clarification on the ILR criteria for innovator founders

In this video, I explore some examples of intellectual property that ‘counts’, for the purposes of applying for settlement under the Innovator Founder visa route.

Not acceptable:
Filing for trademark on branding.

Filing of patent for a new battery technology with evidence of verified and demonstrated new developments advancing the underpinning science in this Field.

Not Acceptable:
Registering for IP protection for a shoe design where development is purely artistic (no significant research and development activity associated), it should be noted that purely “customer research” surveying on styling will not be sufficient in meeting the bar.

Registering a design patent for a shoe where the design incorporates advances in ergonomic performance supported by scientific trials such as peer reviewed control trials.

Non patentable IP
Some new developments cannot be patented. In cases where a new product or service has been developed through genuine and credible research and development by the applicant’s business an endorsing body can consider the Research and Development criteria to be met if all of the following can be established:

  • Significant research and development activity has been delivered within the creation of the relied upon development for example lab research followed by control trials.
  • There is evidence of credible peer reviewed research outputs evidenced in credible peer reviewed academic or industry journal articles demonstrating the applicant/their company is responsible for the relied upon discovery/advance within this area of science.
  • The Applicant is able to demonstrate how they have viably commercialised this technology for the purpose of their business.


A company has developed a new testing technology for early-stage diagnosis of a cancer and they intend to sell testing kits to public and private healthcare providers worldwide. They can show that they have been first to publish on the new technology in a prestigious medical journal and the endorsing body has verified that the company has engaged in sustained lab research and testing to develop the product and demonstrate that it works.

Not Acceptable:
A company has created a new manual for the provision of a sports recovery training programme. Whilst the manual brings together a number of different sports science practices under a new “brand identity” with a manual that has been copyrighted, it does not in itself involve the development of significant new primary research or advances in any of the underlying science. Research is limited to secondary research by way of literature reviews and the merger of techniques the applicant has learned when attending a couple of professional courses. Beyond the copyright there is no wider Intellectual property associated to the business.