Businesses need 'more support' to protect their intellectual property

05 Jun 2015

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on the Government to do more to promote awareness of its Intellectual Property services, after new research found that firms are struggling to protect their ideas and inventions.

According to the FSB, some 25% of firms polled with intellectual property rights have experienced some kind of breach or violation of these rights in the last five years.

Furthermore, a third of those questioned claimed that between 75% and 100% of their revenue was reliant on the strength of their IP.

The lobby group also found that small firms are investing large amounts of time and money into protecting their identity and innovations, with 22% of businesses paying out more than £5,000.

One in three (32%) firms with intellectual property rights said they had spent money on securing rights within the last five years, with one in five (22%) investing more than £5,000.

While the FSB acknowledged that there is a number of tools available designed to help small firms, such as the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court's small claims track and mediation service, it argued that businesses are struggling to use them.

Following the findings, the organisation is now calling on the Government to build on its ongoing efforts to improve signposting and simplification to encourage take-up of the available support.

Commenting on the results, FSB national chairman John Allan said: ‘The knowledge economy, which runs on innovative ideas and brands, is becoming ever more critical to our economic success.

‘Left unchecked, theft and infringement of ideas, patents and brand costs small businesses and diminishes their appetite to invest in their business, ultimately hampering the UK’s long-term economic growth’.