"The package forms part of the Government’s Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth, which has been published today. It sets out plans to boost growth through substantial investment in research and innovation across the UK.
Key actions announced today by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) include:
- A new online business advisor training tool that will give advisors the skills and information they need to help businesses protect the value of their intellectual property [Will the government promise -- firmly and irrevocably -- that it won't launch this online tool till lets SMEs with different IP issues a chance to test-drive it?].
- An online register of advisors to help businesses find the right advisor for them quickly and easily [This can be dynamite. There is no official criterion to establish who is the "right advisor" and the existing British Standard for the provision of IP commercialisation services has by no means won the universal support and affection of the IP community. Is admission to the list to be by qualification, by recommendation, by payment -- or by what?].
- Consulting businesses, business advisors and IP specialists about how lower cost IP legal and commercial advice can be provided [It may be a good idea to consult clients too, as to whether there exists a discernible gap between what they pay for and what they need or use].
- Offering free intellectual property audits to businesses through routes such as the Technology Strategy Board [So long as the audit includes third-party rights -- in which case it can often help SMEs avoid liability by taking a licence].
... Measures the IPO has already taken to support SMEs following the Hargreaves Review include:
- Enhancing existing schemes such as mediation to provide a more efficient dispute resolution service that can prevent potentially costly legal cases [Myth: mediation is NOT guaranteed to be more efficient or cheaper than litigation and can cost vastly more without ever leading to a resolution].
- Announcing that a small claims process for cases under £5,000 will be introduced at the Patents County Court for cases involving copyright, trade marks and designs [patent disputes having been removed];
- Launching Ipsum, an online patent service that could save UK business nearly £100,000 per year. It removes the cost to businesses of requesting patent documents, instead they will now be available for free online;
- Re-running the Fast Forward Competition which encourages Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs) to work together with businesses to share research, innovation and intellectual property (IP). £760,000 is available for winning bids to invest in research and knowledge transfer projects that have the potential to create new companies or services; and
Merpel says, the interesting thing about this media release is not what it contains but what's missing. She has already identified three key things that will improve the lives of SMEs and wonders if her readers can too. Please post your observations below or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org -- the best ones will be published on this weblog.
- Supporting the Technology Strategy Board to develop an IP strategy for the new technology and innovation centres ....."