SMEs drive innovation

Small businesses are as innovative as their larger counterparts, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Companies with less than 50 staff were responsible for 40 per cent of live patents during 2000 to 2008, while large organisations accounted for 44 per cent and medium-sized enterprises just 16 per cent.

Stian Westlake, director at government-backed investment body NESTA, says: ‘It’s encouraging to see that smaller companies are punching above their weight in applying for patents.’

The ONS found that the majority of patenting during this period took place in the South East, London and East Wales.

Intellectual property law firm Gill Jennings & Every says it has filed twice as many patent applications from private individuals and SMEs in the first six months of 2009 as in the the first six months of 2008.

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