If you are a small business owner then you are probably going to be aware of the importance of intellectual property. However, a recent study that has been conducted by the World Intellectual Property Organisation has shown that despite small businesses making up 90 percent of companies all over the world, only 70 percent of new goods and services produced are from these companies.
It is thought that one of the reasons for this is because larger businesses use their cash in order to make money from small businesses innovations. Intellectual property is very complicated in the UK and regulations currently favour larger companies. This is because of the extreme legal costs of having intellectual property registered and it is something that smaller businesses often can’t afford.
Unfortunately, there are several cases of small businesses that have been forced out of business because a larger company has stolen their idea and there is nothing they can do about it. The Digital Opportunity report was published last year by Prof Iain Hargreaves. This report wanted to show the government that it is possible to level the playing field between large companies and small ones.
Many of the recommendations in the report are being implemented by the government and it doesn’t just apply to innovation in the digital sector. It is thought that because of this report and the government’s actions that intellectual property is going to be easier for smaller companies to register in the future.
A report has also recently been issued by the solicitors, Clyde & Co, which offers advice to small businesses about registering intellectual property. It is a first time guide that lays out the basics of the law and should be a great help in informing small businesses about how they can protect themselves from intellectual property theft by larger companies.