Feeds

SMEs to get IP health check

DTI, Patent Office get started on Gowers

Security for virtualized datacentres

A hand-picked group of 40 small businesses in the UK is to be offered "intellectual property health checks" by the Department of Trade and Industry, in line with recommendations laid out in the Gowers review on intellectual property.

Recommendation 27 of the review says: "Improve SME business IP support by establishing formal collaboration between the Patent Office and Business Link and by conducting a pilot replicating the French ‘IP Genesis’ scheme."

Science and innovation minister Malcolm Wicks said the firms will be invited to attend a three-day workshop piloted by the UK Patent Office and the regional development agencies.

The idea is that the firms will be able to identify what IP they actually have, before being advised on how best to protect it. But also, according to Lawrence Smith-Higgin of the UK's patent office, they will be made aware of when they are using IP, and so reduce their exposure to litigation.

"For example, a hairdresser's might have a small CRM database, but have they considered making sure they are properly licensed?" he told us. "They also need to know how to secure the rights to the music they play while they are cutting hair."

The firms will be drawn from a variety of sectors including manufacturing and service, but high tech companies will also be invited to take part. They will be selected with the help of the regional development agencies, based on who those agencies feel would benefit from an audit. All 40 places on the scheme will be filled.

The pilot will run for the rest of the year, and a full report should be published in January of 2008.

Smith-Higgin said that based on his own experience of doing IP audits for firms, the report was all but certain to conclude that the audits were worthwhile.

"I've done some audits in the past, and whatever business you are in, you can guarantee that if you are not creating IP, you will be using it," he said.

"It will be more about the detail and the logistics," he went on. "If this is useful, how do we make sure it is made available to more businesses in the UK? Who, other than us, could deliver the audits?" ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.