In the 2011 Review of Intellectual Property Professor Hargreaves highlighted the difficulties faced by Small and Medium sized Enterprise (SMEs) in accessing the intellectual property (IP) system. These included a lack of strategic commercially based IP advice; difficulties identifying the right source of advice and the cost of IP management.
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) responded to these by publishing its plans to better support SMEs within the BIS Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth).
The discussion paper ‘From ideas to growth: Helping SMEs get value from their intellectual property’ expands on these plans and outlines how the IPO will support SMEs and how we intend to deliver new services. Through partnership working to provide training, awareness raising seminars and strategic IP audits along with providing online tools to help SMEs assess their IP assets and improving the availability of commercially based IP advice the IPO will aim to provide SMEs with the knowledge they need to maximise the value of their IP assets.
On 7 November 2012 IPO published its conclusions to the ‘From ideas to growth’ discussion paper. The conclusions have taken into account the discussions and comments received in response to the discussion paper and set out the IPO’s plans for the future. These plans build upon current work and set out new initiatives to ensure that SMEs can access the advice and support they need to understand and maximise the value of intellectual property to their business.
We would very much like to thank all those individuals and organisations that took part in this discussion. The conversations, thoughts and ideas were rich and plentiful and have helped us hone our plans for the coming year and beyond.