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

Page 1: Introduction

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The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for granting intellectual property (IP) rights. It is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The IPO is divided into seven directorates. Each directorate looks after a different area of the IPO's work. The role of the IPO is to help manage intellectual property rights to...
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Page 2: The external environment

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A business does not function in a vacuum. It is subject to influences from outside the business. These influences make up the external environment. The main factor affecting most businesses is the degree of competition the comparative strength of other businesses that make the same or similar products. The other external factors can be grouped under five headings: Social - trends relating to...
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Page 3: Social factors

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An important social factor affecting intellectual property has been the growth in the number of small businesses. More of these new businesses are being set up by women, an increase of 9% on the previous year. The IPO has responded to these trends by providing several services to meet the needs of individuals or small businesses. In 2008 there were 100,000 new small businesses set...
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Page 4: Legal and economic factors

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Legal factors Legislation concerning copyright, patents, trade marks and designs sets the framework for the IPO's work. This legislation shapes what help and advice the IPO needs to offer to innovators. Since 2004 the IPO has also been involved in combating IP crime. This crime takes many forms, including counterfeiting goods, pirating DVDs and unauthorised sharing of music downloads. The...
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Page 5: Political and technological factors

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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...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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In order for any business to grow, it is important that it understands the environment in which it operates. SLEPT analysis is a useful tool for any business wishing to understand its external environment. This allows it to devise plans and strategies to tackle the challenges it faces. The IPO recognises the changes in its own external environment. This places new demands on the organisation...
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