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New intellectual property support for SMEs

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.
  • An online register of advisors to help businesses find the right advisor for them quickly and easily.
  • Consulting businesses, business advisors and IP specialists about how lower cost IP legal and commercial advice can be provided.
  • Offering free intellectual property audits to businesses through routes such as the Technology Strategy Board.
  • Enhancing existing schemes such as mediation to provide a more efficient dispute resolution service that can prevent potentially costly legal cases.
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Sweeping intellectual property reforms

The Government today announced plans to support economic growth by modernising UK intellectual property laws. Ministers have accepted the recommendations made in an independent review which estimate a potential benefit to the UK economy of up to £7.9 billion.

 The recommendations were made in May 2011 by Professor Ian Hargreaves in his report, – ‘Digital Opportunity: A review of intellectual property and growth’. Modernising intellectual property law is a key action from the Government’s Plan for Growth, published in March alongside the Budget, which will help create the right conditions for businesses to invest, grow and create jobs.

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UK business set to benefit from simpler and cheaper patent system for Europe

A single European patent looks ever more likely as ministers reached important agreements on the detail of a unitary patent at the Competitiveness Council in Luxembourg today.

For the first time in 60 years, ministers have agreed on the languages regime for the patent – the number of translations which applicants need to file to get their patent. This is a significant achievement for the UK, the Hungarian Presidency and the Commission. They also agreed on the technical details of the patent itself.

As a result it will be easier and cheaper to register patents, with far fewer translations required than at present. The availability of a single patent for the European market will be an incentive for innovation and will enhance the competitiveness of European businesses.

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