It’s World Intellectual Property Day, a day to celebrate and educate the world about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and how, when employed successfully, an idea can become an IP asset to create business value and drive sustainable economic growth.
Are the UK’s SMEs missing out?
Unleashing the value of IP is more important now than ever before. Currently, however, SMEs are not recognising IP for its true value, and as our research highlighted, over a third of SMEs believe that IP is used purely for protection rather than to commercialise ideas. Furthermore, 44% of UK businesses do not have anyone at board level who is responsible for the commercialisation of intellectual property and innovation.
And it is not just us seeing this trend, recent data from HMRC highlights a huge disparity between claiming R&D tax credits and under-utilisation of the Patent Box scheme. The data showed that while £5.3bn was claimed in R&D tax credits in 2017-18, only £1.1m was claimed under the Patent Box scheme. The danger is that investments into R&D could be rendered pointless if businesses aren’t making full use of their IP by following through to the patent stage.
IP for sustainable growth
SME’s power 99.9% of the UK economy and so ensuring that these businesses flourish will be important for the UK’s future financial health. Innovation has always been the driving force behind business growth and 85% of SME owners agree that it is, and will be, important for the continued success of their businesses. Encouraging innovation and IP will therefore be vital in unlocking the potential for sustainable business, and thus economic, growth.
Commercialising your IP
Commercialisation is the final stage in the innovation process when a product, service, or methodology is translated into IP and delivered to market – it is the translation from abstract to reality when the benefits can be reaped in the real economy. The overarching message is that while the UK is a world leader in innovation, driven by its academic outputs, we frequently underperform on the commercialisation of R&D.
Make a start with IP Harvest
The importance of innovations and the commercialisation of IP for the future of business growth and economic prosperity in the UK is undoubtable. But where do SMEs start? Businesses shouldn’t be intimidated by the legal and academic jargon surrounding IP.
We are changing the conversation, offering a range of IP services that can help you cut through the noise. The first step is IP Harvest, a simple fixed fee service with will help you answer the question “Does my business have something worth patenting?”. Find out more here.