Formulated in the year 2000, World Intellectual Property Day celebrates and raises awareness of the significance of intellectual property rights in the innovation journey. Events and social media campaigns are run across the globe to demonstrate the importance and impact of patents, copyright, trademarks and designs on both industry and our daily lives. As well as teaching about safeguarding and securing individuals IP, the World IP Day is also an opportunity to focus in on creativity and disruptive innovations across all sectors and the benefit in terms of progress to societies around the world.
The term Intellectual Property broadly refers to “Creations of the mind: inventions; literary and artistic works; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.” (World Intellectual Property Organisation) incorporating all sectors, but for clarity is split into two main subdivisions:
Industrial Property includes patents for inventions, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications.
Copyright covers literary works (novels, poems and plays), films, music, artistic works (drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures) and architectural design. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, music recording, and TV and radio broadcasts.
Why is Protecting Intellectual Property Important?
Implementation of Intellectual Property rights ensures that innovators or owners of patents, trademarks or copyrighted materials to safeguard their investments and benefit from the development of their invention or work.
Protection of IP crates and equilibrium in the world of innovation. Without a rigorous safeguarding system businesses and innovators would be disincentivised to take risks and invest in R&D, stifling scientific and economic progress. Also, IP rights enable businesses to create products in a fair and competitive environment, contribute to economic growth and create jobs. An effective IP system creates equilibrium by securing the interests of the innovator, who can invest and benefit from their hard work, and the public who can buy quality, legitimate products and services with confidence.
What has this got to do with KEEP+ and ERDF Funding?
The core focus of the KEEP+ programme is funding exciting innovative businesses to develop new products, processes and services. Outside of our point of entry into this process i.e. the facilitating of ERDF match funding of an eligible activity, companies need to be mindful of, and know where they stand in terms of securing their Intellectual Property. Be aware of costs and timeframes associated with applying for patents and trademarks and make sure these are understood fully. (and IP costs are not an eligible expense for ERDF funding. Sorry!).
HMGov’s Intellectual Property Office is an excellent starting point for detailed information and advice and enquire with your local Growth Hub about workshops and advice in your area. If you want to read more about World Intellectual Property Day 2018 and what events might be happening near you, check out the WIP website.