Businesses ‘not protecting intellectual property’

Businesses are not sufficiently protecting their intellectual property (IP), with many taking no action, according to new research.

The Intellectual Property Office’s Crime Group (IPOCG) found a majority of companies understand why they need to protect their IP but do not action it.

Research discovered 40 per cent of firms have not registered for a trademark or conducted employee training in the area.

In addition, a third said they had not checked whether goods sold on their premises by other traders were legitimate, with a quarter not having advised staff against downloading illegal material at work.

Deputy chief constable Giles York, chair of the IPOCG, says many managers or company owners are not aware of the damage IP theft can have on them.

‘Companies are aware of their duty to abide by other laws while at work, for example health and safety. We need to raise concern to approach IP law with the same stringency,’ he adds.

The Intellectual Property Office also revealed today it has opened up debate on creating a framework for copyright policy in the future which aids businesses and users.

Companies should exploit intellectual property, says IPO

All businesses, in any industry, will be creating intellectual property they need to protect, entrepreneurs are warned.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) says that most firms are unaware of the information they are creating or that they may be breaching other people’s rights.

Lawrence Smith-Higgins, head of business, outreach and education at the IPO, claims he can go to any company and identify where they are creating their own property or using someone else’s.

He comments that if the intellectual property belongs to the owner of the business they should make sure they know how to ‘protect it and … properly manage it and maximise its value to them and their company.’

A particularly important thing to protect is the name of the firm so that other companies do not copy it and it is easier to build a brand, he remarks.

The government is currently running a review into intellectual property rights and the British Brands Group is calling on businesses to submit examples of where their packaging has been copied.

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Intellectual Property