UK IP Office Unveils 5-Year Strategy to Make Businesses More IP-Aware 21/01/2016 by Dugie Standeford for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The United Kingdom has a vibrant creative sector but many businesses don’t take full advantage of their intellectual property, IP Minister Baroness (Lucy) Neville-Rolfe said in her introduction to an Intellectual Property Office five-year strategy report released today. IPO research shows that over 90 percent of firms haven’t valued their IP, and small to mid-sized companies often don’t understand or know how to protect it, she said. Even a modest boost in those figures could have a significant impact on the UK economy, she said. Neville-Rolfe’s vision for IP as an enabler of better productivity and growth encompasses three lines of activity, she said in “Making life better by supporting UK creativity and innovation” [pdf]. One is to make it easier and more attractive for British businesses to recognise and use their IP. In addition, she wrote, IP knows no borders, so “international engagement is vital.” The government also wants to change the perceptions of IP online by working with search engines to reduce the visibility of sites that offer infringing materials, targeting infringers’ finances and creating effective penalties for the worst offenders, but also by ensuring that consumers have reasonable and portable access to legitimate services. “Enforcement of IP rights is the thread that stitches all of this together, as a right that cannot be enforced is worthless,” said Neville-Rolfe. The UK IPO set six goals for the next five years, it said. One is to promote UK growth through IP policy by trying to ensure that UK and EU laws keep pace with technology and markets. National IP law has undergone significant change in recent years “but we are not complacent,” the office said. The UK also intends to “take the lead and use our influence in Europe” to, among other things, implement the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court and Trade Mark Directive. But legislation isn’t the only answer, and the IPO said it will act to encourage the development of online trading platforms for advertising the sale/licensing of IP rights. The office will “champion IP,” but will also continue to engage with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure their voices are heard; commission and effectively use evidence; and “be pragmatic” about supporting proposals which may not meet everyone’s interests but will support creativity overall, it said. The IPO also wants to deliver high-quality rights, it said. The idea is to make the UK the best place to protect and use IP by, for instance, helping IPO customers get the services they need. A third strategy objective is to ensure respect for, and appropriate enforcement of IPR. This could involve helping consumers and users understand IP, reducing tolerance of criminal infringement, and backing fair, cost-effective conflict resolution for IP disputes. The IPO also wants to help businesses understand, manage and safeguard their IP, it said. This will involve, among other things, a better understanding of how companies use IP and what hinders or helps effective IP management; and encouraging the industry and university sectors to collaborate on research and innovation that leads to better productivity and growth. Goal five is to make IPO staff more capable of understanding the office’s goals and priorities and clearer about the skills they need to do their jobs. Moreover, the report said, the IPO cannot capitalise on the full benefits of a skilled workforce if it’s not prepared to change the way it does things and modernise its operating model to the digital age. Finally, the strategy calls for the IPO to ramp up its efficiency and give customers better value for money. Image Credits: UKIPO Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Dugie Standeford may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."UK IP Office Unveils 5-Year Strategy to Make Businesses More IP-Aware" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.