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Businesses to get greater intellectual property support

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Businesses to get greater intellectual property support

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New support tool launched to help small firms identify, protect and grow their intellectual property assets

Businesses to get greater intellectual property support

The potential for businesses to succeed and grow received a big boost today (30 October 2013) with the launch of new support tools to help small firms identify, protect and grow their intellectual property ( IP) assets.

The Intellectual Property Office launched IP for Business’ - a suite of five business tools which make sure firms can tap into up-to-date guidance to help manage their IP. It will also help firms get more relevant advice from their accountants and other business advisers.

The tools respond to the challenge of making sure businesses can generate value from ideas against a backdrop of poor understanding of IP rights and how they can exploit them. At the centre of the toolkit is IP Equip - a new, free interactive online training tool that helps businesses and their advisors to identify assets which may be protected by IP rights and think through the strategy for protecting them.

Minister for Intellectual Property Lord Younger said:

Intellectual property is a prospect which small businesses often find rather daunting. However, ‘ IP for Business’ shows is that with the correct support and guidance, this doesn’t have to be the case.

The perceived barriers to successfully protecting and managing IP can be easily overcome. All businesses, regardless of their size or turnover, can use these products and I would urge them to do so to tap in their full growth potential.

Aardman Animations, creators of the Wallace and Gromit films, think it is essential to protect their ideas in the early stages so that a sustainable plan can be developed to allow the company continue to grow.

Sean Clarke, Head of Aardman Rights and Brand Development, said:

A lot of hard work goes into what the Aardman team produces. If we don’t protect the ideas we have then it is a ‘free for all’ and it doesn’t allow us to create value to reinvest in future ideas.

It’s very important to have a system in place of protecting what we do. I would urge other companies to protect their intellectual property if they want to benefit from it and help grow their business.

Roger Burt, President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, said:

Small businesses and their advisors, if they understand it at all, generally see IP as a low priority. To engage their interest, you have to talk to them about its business benefits, not about the intricacies of intellectual property, particularly patent law. This new material does just that. It is a valuable addition to the tools already available.

President of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys Catherine Wolfe sees the new package as having a clear advantage over some of the existing materials:

By focusing on the potential commercial value of IP assets these new tools make it clear to business people and their advisers that it pays to get expert help at an early stage. Having an effective IP strategy can be crucially important to business.

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