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Reviewed 24 August 2010

IPO unveils new research programme

A research programme into intellectual property and its value to the British economy has been unveiled by Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox.

The Intellectual Property Office will carry out the research over the next year to ensure policy and decisions are supported by proper evidence.

Baroness Wilcox said:

"Intellectual property has a key role to play in rebalancing the British economy. The highly-skilled industries where the UK can excel are driven by innovation.

"Britain must have an intellectual property system that encourages innovation and is internationally competitive.

"The research programme will improve our understanding of intellectual property and its economic value. It will help ensure that future policy decisions are based on proper research and evidence.

"The important research the IPO will carry out over the coming year will help ensure Britain has an intellectual property system that helps businesses grow and prosper."

The programme, which will see the IPO work with international partners in Europe and the US, includes an assessment of the role intellectual property plays in the knowledge economy and an analysis of data on levels of investment in copyright and design.

There will also be an assessment of the returns UK businesses receive from patents and a look at firms using alternatives to patents to protect innovation.

Notes to editors

  • The IPO developed this research programme building on the work of the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy, which was dissolved in July. The IPO and SABIP worked together to combine their schedules of work in the most efficient and effective way.
  • The Intellectual Property Office is within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills and responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
  • Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge based economy.
  • It operates in a national and an international environment and its work is governed by national and international law, including various international treaties relating to IP to which the United Kingdom is a party.
  • For media enquiries about the Intellectual Property Office please contact Paul Conroy on 020 7215 5303.

Date of release: 24 August 2010