Intellectual property and the external environment
An Intellectual Property Office case study

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Page 5: Political and technological factors

Political factors

IPO is a partner organisation of the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) which is therefore one of its key stakeholders. BIS aims to build a competitive and dynamic UK economy. It looks to do this by creating conditions for business to thrive and by encouraging innovation, enterprise and science in the UK.

For example, it aims to provide young people with skills and opportunities to achieve their goals by developing world-class universities. BIS is supporting innovation by providing tools to help businesses benchmark their own innovation performance and assess where and how they can improve benchmarking.

Supporting environmental benefits

The IPO supports these initiatives by giving practical advice and support to entrepreneurs. Businesses are more likely to carry out research and development knowing that their ideas will be protected. For example, a company wishing to submit a patent application for an innovation that has an environmental benefit can now apply through the IPO”s Green Channel. This service gives quicker processing of this type of application and supports the UK government”s drive to improve environmental impacts.

Technological factors

The growth of the internet has also highlighted the need to protect IP. It brings threats as well as some opportunities. Using the web for marketing makes it easier for competitors to copy designs or even new products. The internet also makes it easier to distribute digital material without permission. However, innovators can use the internet to create new products and services, discover new ideas and access new markets more easily.

The IPO has responded to this challenge. Its services help businesses to protect and exploit their inventions and creativity. This is vital in an increasingly connected and networked world. IP Healthcheck provides a series of guides. These help businesses, for example, to exploit their innovation through licensing or to use confidentiality agreements to protect their IP.

The IPO is also exploiting technology itself, using its own website to make its services more accessible. Businesses receive free targeted advice from IPO”s services so that they can understand the value of their intellectual property.

Intellectual Property Office | Intellectual property and the external environment