Small businesses need to do more to protect their innovations according to research published recently by the Intellectual Property office (IPO), small businesses need to be doing more to protect and exploit their innovations.
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.”
Jo Shelley, Head of Company / Commercial for leading law firm Hillyer McKeown commented " It’s great that such an announcement gets businesses talking about Intellectual Property Rights. So many start ups and small businesses overlook the value of their IP and fail to seek early IP advice. However it’s not just protection of IP that’s important. Companies also need to consider the best ways to exploit their IP to generate maximum profits which is why I always advise businesses to try and get their ‘IP in order’ from the outset."
Jo continued “There is nothing more rewarding than starting to work with a company in their infancy and advising them on how to protect their innovations and creations which will help in the future when they come to exploit their IP or sell on their IP or business .”
“My advice to any business is to try and get their ‘IP in order’ from the beginning to protect what is rightfully theirs and ensure they generate maximum revenue streams from what they have created.”
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