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From the Newsdesk

IPO Publishes Report on IP Awareness & Understanding

Becoming “IP savvy” – There’s a long journey ahead!

Anti Copying in Design (ACID) welcomes this report which explored the levels of IP awareness, understanding and perceived use among UK SME businesses to improve engagement and communication with customers whilst also assisting in future policy thinking. The results from the Awareness Survey also offer insight into barriers to use and key sources of information for businesses that are looking for guidance on how to protect their IP.  A total of 1,081 business owners, sole traders, or employees at mid-management, senior management were consulted.

The report measured IP awareness, understanding and action taken to protect IP including (use of IP protection) and non-use of IP protection.Read the full report here!

Key Findings

Awareness is high at an overall level, with four in five businesses (79%) claiming to be familiar with the term intellectual property. However, broad understanding of the IP rights among small and medium-size businesses, the production industry, and start-ups is low. Overall the use of IP protection is high, with just under two thirds (63%) of businesses saying they use IP protection. In turn, four in five businesses (84%) say the measures they’ve taken are important to them, with importance particularly high among sole traders and start-ups. Two in five businesses (41%) that claim to use IP protection, say they own IP but that they have chosen not to register or enforce, the most common reason for this is cost, with lack of expertise and lack of time also a driving force behind businesses’ decision or inability to register or enforce certain IP. Just under a quarter say they do not protect their IP due to a lack of knowledge (23%), one in five due to the cost involved (18%), and just over one in ten due to lack of expertise in the area (13%).

Sole traders – less likely than SMEs, but more likely than micro businesses to claim awareness of IP and high broad understanding of the various types of IPRs, despite being less likely to take action to protect its IP.
Micro businesses – least likely to claim awareness of IP
Small businesses – high awareness of IP, as well as claiming high usage of IP protection.
Medium-size businesses – very high awareness but the lowest broad understanding of all groups by a significant margin.

Whilst familiarity is high overall, understanding of the types of IP protection most used to protect specific products and services, is much lower suggesting that while many businesses may be loosely aware of the term “intellectual property” and what it is, many do not understand IP beyond topline terminology. Differences in understanding may reflect different sectors’ tendency to use and understand only certain types of protection to operate successfully.

Dids Macdonald OBE., CEO of ACID said, “The UK Intellectual Property Office does a very good job in raising awareness about the importance of becoming “IP Savvy” in today’s fast-moving world. This is increasingly relevant more especially as AI is running a bullet train through more traditional IP described in this research. Unsurprisingly, the creative industries were not included other than a scant reference to arts, entertainment, and recreation. The lament, yet again are of out of date SIC codes which would give broader contemporary relevance to such research”.

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IP - Protect it or forget it!
Become “IP savvy” and part of a growing community who are anti copying in design