13 October 2017

"What can we do to encourage innovators to do more collaboration and commercialisation, to stimulate knowledge exchange and promote follow-on innovation?" Answers on an Email to the IPO by 15 Nov 2017

Jane Lambert

On 23 Jan 2017, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy ("DBEIS") published its green paper Building Our Industrial Strategy which I discussed in  "Harnessing the Potential of the UK's Home Grown Inventors" - The Government's Proposed Industrial Strategy 24 Jan 2017. In that article, I summarized that green paper as follows:
"Very briefly the green paper suggests ways in which the UK could improve productivity and spread prosperity more evenly across the country and throughout society. After stating those aims it suggests 10 policies that it calls "pillars" to achieve them. One of those pillars is "Investing in science, research and innovation" to "become a more innovative economy and do more to commercialise our world leading science base to drive growth across the UK." The document mentions some of the steps that the government is already taking and then lists some new commitments on page 34."
One of the government's new commitments was "reviewing how to maximise the incentives created by the Intellectual Property system to stimulate collaborative innovation and licensing opportunities – including considering the opening up of registries to facilitate licensing deals and business-to-business model agreements to support collaboration."

On 11 Oct 2017, the Intellectual Property Office published a consultation document entitled Industrial Strategy: Intellectual Property Call for Views. It began with the question:
"What can we do to encourage innovators to do more collaboration and commercialisation, to stimulate knowledge exchange and promote follow-on innovation?"
It explained that the government wants to find ways to stimulate collaborative innovation and increase licensing opportunities for IP rights. The purpose of the call is not to initiate a wholesale review of the IP legislative system, but to look for targeted, nonregulatory interventions that the IPO could make, which would maximize the incentives provided by our IP system.  The government wonders whether there are new products or services that the IPO could offer which would encourage more collaboration, more creation and exploitation of IP.

The ideas that the government seeks should meet the following criteria:
  1. Targeted intervention to either process or policy 
  2. Within the remit of intellectual property 
  3. Backed by evidence of the market failure or commercial potential.
Evidence can come in the form of narratives of respondents; experiences, case studies, published analysis or empirical data. Respondents are asked to state:
  • Whether they are you responding as an individual, business, intermediary, representative body; 
  • What their business does and in what sectors it operates;
  • The size of business, and what proportion of its assets is IP-based;
  • In what UK regions respondents operate;
  • In what international territories do they operate;
  • Whether there is more the IPO could do to help UK companies to operate overseas; 
  • What they spend on IP;
  • Which aspects of the IP system do they use;
  • What they particularly value about the UK’s IP system; and
  • Whether they face barriers when using the UK IP system.
Responses should be emailed to  industrialstrategy@ipo.gov.uk by 15 Nov 2017.

Suggestions that the IPO has already received include establishing IP trading platforms, publishing model B2B licence agreements, establishing a voluntary IP register, promoting the use of IP as collateral, facilitating licensing of standard-essential patents and royalty free licences and standardizing IP valuation methods.

Should anyone wish to discuss this article, call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.