Small Businesses: Intellectual Property

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 10th May 2016.

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Photo of The Earl of Clancarty The Earl of Clancarty Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to better inform small businesses about all aspects of intellectual property rights, including action that such businesses can take to protect such rights.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) undertakes a wide range of activities to promote understanding of Intellectual Property (IP) amongst Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in order that they can make an informed decision on whether and how to protect, commercialise and enforce their IP.

IPO products and priority activities focus on:

a) Raising awareness of the importance of IP; b) Improving the IP skills of business advisors and intermediaries; c) Emphasising that IP is an essential element of an overall business strategy.

The offerings include online tools, face to face business and adviser training, and partnership delivery.

The numerous online resources are designed to help businesses to recognise their IP assets, to manage those assets effectively and to help businesses communicate the value of their IP portfolio to lenders or investors when seeking finance.

The IPO has a small team that runs UK seminars and workshops on IP for businesses and advisors and it also provides an intensive, commercially run training course to improve their understanding of IP.

It also works with partners within and outside government to ensure that businesses in every part of the UK can access good quality IP advice and understand the importance of managing their IP. Key partnerships include the UK PatLib Network and UK Business & IP Centre Network as well as Business Growth Hubs

All these support activities provide guidance and information on how businesses may resolve IP disputes or take effective enforcement action. In addition, the UK overseas IP attachés work with local UK Trade and Investment and Foreign and Commonwealth Office leads to provide support for UK businesses seeking advice on local IP matters abroad.

I will place further information on these resources in the Libraries of the House.

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