Intellectual Property Office
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Small businesses urged to mind their IP

Small businesses risk missing out on valuable income from new technology or ideas because they’re not certain about their intellectual property rights, a new survey has found.

The warning comes on World IP Day, with the UK Intellectual Property Office unveiling its first ever comprehensive survey of IP awareness PDF document(1.86Mb) in UK business.

Science and Innovation Minister Malcolm Wicks, said the survey revealed that while big business was very knowledgeable about protecting its IP, small businesses were missing out.

"Imagine working tirelessly to develop a new product or idea and then being ripped off because you weren’t correctly protected in terms of intellectual property rights? Our small businesses are the backbone of our nation and we’re keen to make sure they are protected."

As part of World IP Day, the UK Intellectual Property Office has published two new information booklets and an e-newsletter specifically for smaller firms and individuals to help protect their ideas.

The new IP Health Checks pilot scheme will help up to 50 small firms identify their intellectual property and access advice to protect and maximise its value.

Mr Wicks said: "We’re also reaching out to the next generation of young inventors and entrepreneurs and developing Cracking Ideas, a nation-wide schools competition for 9-11 year olds in collaboration with Aardman Animations."

Featuring Oscar winners Wallace and Gromit, the competition and online resource brings innovation into the classroom, celebrates creativity and explores the benefits of protecting ideas.

Editors' notes:

  • World Intellectual Property (IP) Day is an opportunity to focus on the significant role innovation plays in our economy (world, country) and how it affects our day to day living.
  • Every business uses aspects of intellectual property, the name it trades under, processes it uses, the products or services it provides, or protecting and deriving benefit from the creative or artistic works it generates.
  • Wallace & Gromit - Cracking Ideas will use lesson plans, a nationwide competition, teaching resources and a dedicated website External Link to bring innovation into lessons for Key Stage Two as a part of the National Curriculum.
  • My IP PDF document(3.43Mb) offers businesses a concise introduction into the different areas of IP and also help’s identify what IP assets a business has.
  • My Idea – is it a business? PDF document(3Mb) gives basic guidance on how to legally protect an idea.
  • More information about IP Health Checks is available.
  • IP Insight is a monthly e-publication
  • Innovation Support Strategy PDF document(69Kb) is available on this website.

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