We can all innovate! We own our ideas!

Who is the Intellectual Property Office?

The Intellectual Property Office is the official government body responsible for granting Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom. The office is an Executive Agency of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property (IP) comprises:-

  • Patents - protect new inventions
  • Designs - protect the appearance of a produce
  • Trade marks - protect brand names and reputations
  • Copyright - protect creative works

Why is IP important?

Intellectual property is important to the UK economy, supporting Government policy of encouraging enterprise and innovation. The Intellectual Property Office has the task of promoting and developing awareness-raising programmes on the importance and changing nature of intellectual property.

IP is seen as a key consideration in day to day business decisions, not just as an asset but also as a means of increasing profit for the business.

Despite its importance a high percentage of businesses are still missing out on valuable income from new technology or ideas because they are not certain about their IP rights.

To address this the Intellectual Property Office has developed a number of programmes to raise awareness of IP amongst businesses and young people because:-

  • Awareness levels of IP are low;
  • As a result businesses risk missing opportunities to exploit their knowledge and creativity;
  • The incentive to innovate which IP rights afford depend on potential innovators being aware of IP rights;
  • Ignorance of IP contributes to a lack of respect and results in IP infringement.

Wallace & Gromit Present a World of Cracking Ideas

Preview of activity pack

To convey the Intellectual Property Office's innovation and IP messages and to increase the level of awareness of IP it currently sponsors a World of Cracking Ideas exhibit and workshops at Spaceport, Liverpool. The objectives are:-

  • To promote a better understanding of an IP system which encourages innovation by allowing designers, authors and inventors to gain value from their creations;
  • To encourage a positive respect for IP;
  • To raise awareness of the Intellectual Property Office, who it is, what it does, and the role it plays in the innovation and creative processes, so that it becomes the first place of reference for IP information;
  • To ensure that visitors leave with a knowledge and an understanding of the role and importance of IP.

The IPO's association with Spaceport's Wallace & Gromit in Space follows on from the successful IPO sponsored Wallace & Gromit Present a World of Cracking Ideas exhibition which ran at the Science Museum, London and the Glasgow Science Centre, Scotland and the Centre for Life, Newcastle.

Cracking Ideas

Cracking Ideas is the Office's educational resource. The website, developed in partnership with Aardman Animations, features Wallace and Gromit and is targeted at children aged 4 - 16. It contains educational activities tailored to the curriculum, a nationwide competition and games.

The aim of the resource is to teach children that:-

  • They can all innovate;
  • They can all own ideas;
  • Innovation can be linked to financial reward;
  • They can exploit their ideas if they are protected by IP.

All resources on the website can be downloaded free of charge and are broken down into 3 age groups (4 - 7, 8 - 11 and 12 - 16), contain information relating to innovation, creativity and intellectual property and all link to the UK curriculum.

You can also join our community of innovators uploading your competition entries to the Ideas Gallery and offering your thoughts on other ideas already on the website.

Business Outreach Activities

The Intellectual Property Office has a range of outreach activities for the business community, these range from an IP Diagnostic tool intended to help businesses identify the types of IP they own, an IP awareness campaign in partnership with Companies House entitled 'Get It Right First Time' based on a series of half day seminars. Plus the IP Masterclass, IP workshops and seminars all promoting the importance of IP to businesses and a free e-newsletter offering readers advice and information about IP.

Further information on these can be found at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/whyuse/events/events-calendar.htm

For further information regarding the Intellectual Property Office and its work go to http://www.ipo.gov.uk

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