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IP at the heart of innovation: our work 2016-2017

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Business, Europe, Innovation

What has a Swedish scamster and a couple called Sarah and George got in common? It may sound strange but they are just two examples from our Innovation & Growth report that highlight why the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is considered one of the best in the world.

Let’s take a step back

Why is the link between economic growth, innovation and intellectual property (IP) so important? A successful economy relies on a number of factors, a key element of which is innovation which helps fuel growth. IP is an increasingly important part of the innovation picture: the UK invested £132 billion in knowledge-based assets in 2014, a growth of 50% since 2000, and more than half of this investment is protected by formal IP rights.

Simply put, the IPO contributes to innovation and growth in the UK by working to create a clear, accessible and widely understood IP system. We do this through a wide range of activities including: providing high quality rights granting; making sure the system keeps up to speed with modern business practice: making sure rights are respected and enforced; and educating business to make the most of their IP.

So in the last year we successfully defended our reputation and put a stop to a Swedish scamster trying to con UK firms into paying unnecessary fees by passing himself off as the IPO. And we won an award for our series of educational films featuring Sarah and George aimed at helping designers understand and protect their IP. But these successes are the tip of the iceberg.

Image from Sarah and George animation

Working hard for our customers

We do so much more than ‘just’ providing one of the best and most respected rights granting systems in the world. As demand for our services grows so we continue to improve the speed and efficiency for our customers.

IP is a core component of the government’s Industrial Strategy. We are supporting the delivery of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and providing data and analysis to support the negotiation of Sector Deals.

We are working hard to get the right outcome for UK inventors, creators and consumers as we prepare to leave the EU. Our IP attachés are active in key global markets and helped more than 230 firms last year protect nearly £200 million of investment. And we have helped to deliver the latest phase of the Government’s international GREAT campaign showcasing the UK’s inventiveness.

Meanwhile at home we informed more than 200,000 firms about IP last year and have strengthened our support for businesses with new posts in key UK regions. And we continue to have the best approach to enforcement in the world. Our work with a range of partners, from the Police to Border Force, means we continue to protect consumers and businesses from counterfeit goods and services.

Promoting innovation and growth report

If you are not familiar with the breadth of our work and how it contributes to an innovative and growing economy then our latest Innovation and Growth report is the right place to start.

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