As part of the government’s “Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth”, published this week, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has announced key actions to help SMEs protect their IP and grow their business.
Key points include:
- Free IP audits through the Technology Strategy Board
- A new online business advisor training tool and online register
- Launching a consultation for businesses, advisors and IP specialists about how lower-cost IP advice could be provided
“The package of measures outlined today will allow the IPO to build even stronger links with businesses, giving them the confidence to trade both in the UK and abroad,” says IP Minister Baroness Wilcox.
Earlier this year, the IPO had already announced that a small claims process would be introduced at the Patents County Court for cases involving copyright, trade marks and designs. The IPO also launched Ipsum, a new online patent service, which removes the cost to businesses of requesting patent document (they will now be available for free online).
“SMEs’ innovative ideas and creations can be worth billions of pounds, so it’s essential that we provide them with the support they need to protect and enforce their rights,” adds Baroness Wilcox.