Business attitudes to IP report
The UK IPO has indeed been busy. They have released research commissioned by its IP Crime Group that shows that 'shows that many businesses are not doing anything to ensure they protect their intellectual property'.
This is a BAD THING it seems. In the words of the press release:
Intellectual property is at the heart of so many businesses. It needs to be understood, protected, and respected [IPKat comment: does this remind anyone of the WIPO World Intellectual Property Day's theme that authors/creators 'deserve our admiration, our protection, and our respect'?] - both that which belongs to the company and the IP of others. It is therefore worrying that the research showed that:
- 40% of businesses surveyed took no practical action such as trade mark registration or employee training to ensure their and others IP is protected.
- A third of businesses surveyed were not aware whether goods sold on their premises by external traders were legitimate or not.
- Out of those who knew that employees were selling DVDs at work, nearly a fifth knew that these were counterfeit and still allowed such illegal activity to take place.
- Similarly, over a quarter of respondents do not make staff aware that they must not download illegal content at work.
He's not sure whether it's so worrying that 40% of businesses don't protect their IP. Many businesses just won't have IP at the core of their business. Your local newsagent isn't going to file many patents. He's not even likely to register a trade mark. However, there is protection in place (such as passing off) which comes into action automatically. When one looks at the statistics of business attitudes to infringement of other people's IP in the workplace, it doesn't look at bad as the IPO has suggested. Take for example the third point above - 20% knowledge of sale of fake DVDs. This has to be put in context. This is 20% of the people who knew that DVDs were being sold in their workplace. This was only 20% of those surveyed. In other words, 20% of 20% of the survey of 500 people (i.e. 20/500 if the IPKat's maths are correct) knew of such sales taking place.
Dilution event at IBIL, University College London, Bloomsbury
UCL's Institute of Brand and Innovation Law is hosting its Brands Seminar on 11 February 2009, 4.00pm for a 4.30pm start.
The title is Trade Mark Infringement without Confusion: Dilution. Speakers are:
- Professor J Thomas McCarthy on the US perspective
- Professor Charles Gielen on the Benelux approach
- Professor David Llewelyn on what the UK makes of it all.
To sign up, please click here, but be warned - places are going fast!