UK IPO publishes Innovation and Growth Report 2021/22

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published its annual Innovation and Growth report for 2021/22.  The aim of this annual report is to capture how the IPO has worked across government, together with its partners and stakeholders, to encourage investment in innovation and growth.


Some of the key take-aways from the report include:

The UK IPO received a record level of trade mark applications. It examined 216,000 domestic and international trade mark applications – an increase of 59% since the previous 2020/21 report. At the beginning of the year it took around three months to examine a trade mark application, this has now returned to the previous examination time of 5-15 days. 

Designs also saw a record year, with an increase in application filings of 71.8% compared to the previous year. As a result, the time to examine a design application increased to around eight weeks during the first part of the year. However, having examined 77,000 design applications - 133% more than 2020/21 - since the start of 2022 the IPO has now returned to its normal standards of 5-15 days.

In patents, the IPO delivered 96.9% of requests for an accelerated two-month turnaround for search, publication, and examination against a target of 90% and thereby eliminated its backlog of overdue examination requests. This included granting 10,798 patents, the highest number in over 30 years.

Despite the on-going Covid-19 restrictions, the IPO engaged directly with over 45,000 businesses and business advisors last year. It returned to face-to-face events during 2021 whilst also continuing to run its webinar programme for businesses and its virtual IP Masterclass.

To support businesses to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the IPO launched a new financial support scheme for innovative, high-growth potential Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). It received 317 applications for funding support, exceeding its target of 285, with an estimated value of the scheme of £1.39 million.

The IPO also reached a record number of 568 businesses through its IP Audits scheme, which provides part-funding towards a specialised service carried out by an IP professional.

What’s on the horizon? The IPO Futures Group

The purpose of the IPO Futures Group is to increase understanding of the future opportunities and challenges for IP posed by technological developments. To help in developing this understanding, the Futures Group has completed a programme of horizon scanning workshops internally and with stakeholders; identified priority themes for further exploration:

1. The metaverse and related technology - This includes all extended reality technology (augmented, extended, mixed and virtual reality),

2. The future licensing environment for IP in the context of technological developments - e.g., blockchain, NFTs, and emerging business models,

3. How society views IP and the future social value of IP - The way that the IP system can best continue to provide benefits to society as a whole and IPO’s evolving role in this.

It has also established a Foresight Network to embed horizon scanning and futures thinking within the IPO and take work forward under the priority themes.

Readers can find the full report here, which also includes more information on the IPO’s international activity, the green technologies patent landscapes case study, more on IP education and IP enforcement. 

UK IPO publishes Innovation and Growth Report 2021/22 UK IPO publishes Innovation and Growth Report 2021/22 Reviewed by Hayleigh Bosher on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 Rating: 5

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