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Promoting innovation and growth: The Intellectual Property Office at work

The IPO has launched a new report on Promoting Innovation and Growth: The Intellectual Property Office at Work 2017/18.

In his Ministerial Foreword, The Rt Hon Sam Gyimah, Minister for Intellectual Property said, “Intellectual Property (IP) is an important part of the innovation cycle, giving inventors and creatives the confidence to pursue innovation and growth. By ensuring that the results of innovation can only be exploited by its owner, IP encourages investment in R&D by guaranteeing a return on successful innovations. Without the protection given by IP the unscrupulous could profit off the back of another’s work, diminishing or eliminating their fair return. It does not take a great leap of the imagination see this leading to stagnation, where too few are prepared to risk their time and money on generating the next big innovation for fear that someone else will take all the profit.”

This report from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) sets out what it has done in the past 12 months to ensure that the IP system encourages investment in innovation. The IPO does this by creating an IP framework which balances protection and knowledge sharing, administering IP rights, coordinating enforcement of those rights and helping people to understand and use them. By making the UK a great place to hold, use and protect IP, the IPO will help to make the UK the most creative and innovative country in the world.

Whilst there isn’t any new announcement on policy or enforcement, the report emphasises the importance of IP and UK’s IP ongoing status as one of the best in the world.

  • Regarding delivery of IP services, 2017 has seen the highest demand for trade marks and designs;
  • There is continuous work around making the whole application and managing process for IP rights more digital. This year, progress was made with online renewal of IP rights and change of address;
  • The report states that after the UK leaves the EU, they will continue to protect the existing registered and unregistered IP rights which were protected until then;
  • The IPO had numerous multilateral and bilateral meetings in China, Brazil, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and South-East Asia.

Dids Macdonald, OBE., CEO of ACID said of the report, “As the leading Design and IP campaigning and membership organisation in the UK, ACID has and continues to work positively and collaboratively with the Intellectual Property Office on many issues to raise awareness about the importance of intellectual property and educate to protect to deter and prevent IP infringement to ensure growth. We do believe that this is one of the best IP systems in the world but with the caveat that litigation should not be NOT be the luxury of the few. Access to cost effective & timely access to redress IP infringement for micro and SMEs must be a priority in future-proofing IPO planning. We are also looking forward to continuing to play an active role and contribute to the national debate on IP enforcement to ensure sound, proactive and robust IPO policy and action. With the growing threat of online infringement faced by many designers, more Government (IPO) pressure must focus on IP compliance, ethics and respect for the rights of IP creators.”

You can read the entire document here.