Small businesses need to do more to protect their ideas
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31 March 2011 14:02
Department for Business, Innovation
and Skills (National)
Small businesses need to do
more to protect and exploit their innovations, according to research
published today by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
The ‘Intellectual Property
Awareness Survey of Business’ has shown that only 15 percent of small
companies have ever sought advice on safeguarding their ideas. Only 11
percent of firms overall assign responsibility for managing
intellectual property (IP) rights. This is compared to 43 per cent of
larger companies, meaning that smaller enterprises risk missing out on
valuable income from their creativity.
Announcing the results
during a visit to Plymouth University to talk to final year robotics
students about the value of their ideas, Intellectual Property Minister
Baroness Wilcox said:
“Innovation is the backbone
of our economy, and it’s encouraging that many businesses know the
importance of protecting and exploiting their ideas. However it’s clear
that many smaller companies aren’t aware of how to make the most of
their intellectual property.
“As part of the Government’s
commitment to helping small businesses, the Intellectual Property
Office offers a range of information and services to help companies
identify and benefit from their inventions and designs.”
Services offered by the
Intellectual Property Office include:
- A free online IP
Healthcheck tool to help businesses understand different areas of IP.
- Workshops delivered
throughout the UK to teach business advisors about IP.
- An IP Master Class course
in partnership with Coventry University and the British Library.
- Free regional IP
awareness seminars for businesses.
- Free guidance documents
on a range of IP topics, from outlining the basics to country-specific
IP guides for UK exporters to Brazil, China, Korea, India and Vietnam
to help British companies in the major markets around the world.
This is the second awareness
survey commissioned by the IPO. It involved 20,000 businesses of all
sizes and from all industry sectors across the UK, and aimed to find
out their level of awareness about intellectual property including
trade marks, patents, copyright and designs.
- The Intellectual Property Office is within the Department
for Business, Innovation, and Skills, and is responsible for the
national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents,
designs, trade marks and copyright.
- Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages
innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users,
promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the
knowledge based economy.
- It operates in a national and an international environment
and its work is governed by national and international law, including
various international treaties relating to IP to which the United
Kingdom is a party.
- The ‘Intellectual Property Awareness Survey of Business’
can be found at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipsurvey2010.pdf.
- More information about the services provided to businesses
by the IPO can be found at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/whyuse/business.htm.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-04-03 19:55:16 in Business Articles