Press release

Dragons' Den entrepreneurs boost UK's innovation

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Intellectual Property Minister Lord Younger has called on aspiring inventors to make sure they know their intellectual property rights.

Image of the Intellectual Property Office head office

As a new wave of budding entrepreneurs return to BBC’s Dragons’ Den this week, Intellectual Property Minister Lord Younger has called on aspiring inventors to make sure they know their Intellectual property (IP) rights.

This comes as the demand to protect ideas, inventions, creative works and brands continues to grow in the UK. In 2013 UK businesses, entrepreneurs, creators and designers filed more than 22,000 patent applications. In addition, there were also more than 5,000 designs registered, and trade mark applications leapt by 15% to more than 46,000.

Minister for Intellectual Property, Lord Younger, said:

It’s encouraging to see so many people thinking outside the box and creating new, innovative products. However, if you’re investing time and money into something worth investing in, then you should make sure you know what your intellectual property rights are.

The high number of patent applications we are handling is something to be proud of. Not only is this proof that UK businesses increasingly have great ideas they need to protect but also that our creative industries are thriving.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) recommends seeking professional advice when considering applying for a patent to make sure that the idea is worthwhile and that patenting is a viable option. The IPO has a number of free business support tools, called ‘IP for business’ to help firms and entrepreneurs understand their IP.

Notes to editors

  1. Patent owning entrepreneurs who have previously appeared on the Dragons’ Den include Shaun Pulfrey, inventor of the hair product Tangle Teezer and Neil Westwood, developer of the Magic Whiteboard range.
  2. For media enquiries, please contact Department for Business (BIS) Press Office on 0207 215 5080.
  3. For emergency media calls out-of-hours please contact the duty press officer at BIS on 0207 215 3505.
  4. The IPO is within BIS and is responsible for the national framework of intellectual property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
  5. IP plays a vital role in encouraging business growth and success. Understanding the IP a business owns or uses and how to manage this strategically can offer significant benefits to a business.
  6. The total amount of applications received during 2013 by the IPO are:
    • patents - 22,489
    • trade marks - 46,708
    • design - 5,454
  7. In addition
    • trade mark applications rose 15% on 2012 applications
    • a total of 17,276 patent search requests were made in 2013, a 3% increase on 2012
    • patent examination requests increase by 1.4%, with 11,579 received
  8. Dragons’ Den Series 11 returns to BBC Two at 9pm on Sunday 26 January 2014. The IPO produces a Dragon’s Den blog which is published following each broadcast.
  9. The IPO has launched a new range of business support tools called ‘IP for business’ to assist UK businesses in understanding and protecting their IP. These tools are:
    • IP Basics - straightforward free guides to understanding your IP
    • IP Equip - free, quick and easy online IP training tool for professionals who advise businesses
    • IP Equip app - free, quick and easy IP advice at your fingertips
    • IP Health Check - asses your own business for free with a tailored report to identify and value your IP
    • IP Master Class - reach your potential with quality and comprehensive IP advisor training
Published 23 January 2014