Small Businesses Not Safeguarding Intellectual Property Rights
Small businesses must ensure they are protecting their innovations — that’s the message from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), which found that just 15 per cent have sought advice to safeguard their ideas.
The IPO survey (PDF) of 20,000 UK businesses of all sizes also found that just 11 per cent of small firms assign responsibility for managing their IP rights. Commenting on the research, IP minister Baroness Wilcox said small firms risked missing out on valuable income from their creativity.
“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 IP.”
“As part of the Government’s commitment to helping small businesses, the IPO offers a range of information and services to help companies identify and benefit from their inventions and designs.”
An IPO spokesman said there are a number of free services available to help business-owners.
“We offer a free online IP health check to help businesses understand the processes involved in protecting their ideas and converting them into tangible assets. There are also free IP awareness seminars available for businesses across the UK.”
“It’s vital for businesses to realise that IP can be one of their most valuable assets, demonstrably improving their competitive performance and acting as a measure of innovation and creativity.”
For further information read our business advice article on Intellectual Property.