The IPO’s 2023-24 Corporate Priorities highlight the UK Government’s commitment to innovation
The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published its Corporate Priorities for 2023-24. The IP Minister and IPO’s CEO highlighted that the main focus of the initiative is to provide support for developing innovative and creative businesses in the UK. The government has invested £370 million in making the UK a science and technology superpower by 2030. This investment has included the Higher Education Innovation Funding programme, R&D tax relief, and the creation of a new department dedicated to Science, Innovation and Technology, which will now act as the driving force for their commitment to innovation.
The government’s new commitments align with the IPO’s vision “for the UK to be a global hub for innovation.” In the report, the IPO outlined seven priorities that will help fulfil this vision. The priorities which we believe will be of particular interest to SMEs are:
Assessing their support towards SMEs
The IPO has highlighted its commitment to make sure that SMEs are utilising all of their IP. The IPO plans to establish a long-term policy on financial support for SMEs. This policy will be based on information gained through the launch of a cross-office working group so that aid can be specifically targeted to areas which will be most effective for SMEs. The IPO has also promised to strengthen feedback loops with SMEs, and to work with other governmental organisations to identify further areas for future intervention to support businesses in securing finance on their IP. If these priorities are achieved, this will provide significant support for the innovative small businesses and individuals we work with in our Scaleup Quarter.
Building on their One IPO Transformation Programme
The One IPO Transformation Programme will be launched into private beta, which will allow the IPO to test the service prior to its public release in 2024.
This programme will provide a simplified and more streamline application service for IP rights. It will offer a more flexible approach to applications, allowing businesses to skip aspects that may not apply to them. The programme also aims to increase efficiency by reusing information from the customer’s account and business data, and, additionally, check applications for errors before filing. This will make patent applications more accessible for all types of businesses, including SMEs.
Improving the speed of delivery and quality of IP services
The IPO has outlined objectives for the speed of carrying out patent examinations and searches, as well as trade mark and design examinations, with the aim of improving customer satisfaction with respect to the IP services delivered. This is the first time in the past five years that the IPO has created numerical figures for these objectives, emphasising the IPO’s dedication to meeting these targets.
Another area of focus is improving strategic workforce, with the IPO promising to identify gaps in skills and hire new talent.
The corporate priorities published by the IPO show their commitment to developing innovation in the UK. The priorities highlight that support for SMEs is one of the IPO’s main aims, with plans to establish a long-term policy on financial support. Additionally, moving forward with the One IPO Transformation Programme suggests that there will soon be a shift in how IP services are delivered, which should result in improved efficiency and increased accessibility for all businesses.
Written by: Laura Clews