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UK government sets out ambition for IP industry

On World IP Day, UK Intellectual Property Minister Sam Gyimah reflects on Britain's innovations and talent, and how he is looking to boost the country's IP sector

Sam GyimahThe Gilbert rugby ball, the MRI scanner, the Tangle Teezer, graphene, Harry Potter and the Spice Girls all have one thing in common. They were all produced by British inventors, artists and entrepreneurs, on British soil and have boosted the British economy, immediately creating jobs and global investment opportunities.

This World IP Day, marking the Intellectual Property Awareness Network’s 25th anniversary, we reflect on the outstanding innovations and talent that exists in Britain and through our modern industrial strategy we want to boost our world leading IP sector. And as boundaries of technology are stretched even further with the advent of nanotechnology, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing and artificial intelligence it is clear there has never been a more exhilarating time to see these ideas transform our society.

Intellectual property is everywhere you look, and someone, somewhere was responsible for the idea, the design, the execution of creating everyday items that you and I often take for granted. 

In the UK we have an economy thriving with IP rich businesses. And we have an IP regime, consistently one of the very best in the world, that supports these creators and entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to market.  Some of the examples I mentioned are just a small collection of what has been created in the UK. 

And there are pockets of this blossoming creativity right across the country, from Mulberry in Somerset, to Emma Bridgwater in Stoke-on-Trent, Cavendish pianos in the Yorkshire Dales to Bentley motors in Crewe. These businesses rely on their intellectual property to continue doing what they’re doing, to continue providing vital employment and to continue boosting local economies, supporting our Industrial Strategy and contribute to our determination to get 2.4% of GDP spent on R&D by 2027.

”The government knows how much blood, sweat and tears went into these products and creations, and I can assure you as IP Minister, I will continue to champion the cause to make sure there is continued protection for the IP rights behind them”

Make no mistake about it, the government knows how much blood, sweat and tears went into these products and creations, and I can assure you as IP Minister, I will continue to champion the cause to make sure there is continued protection for the IP rights behind them.   

Through the Government’s Industrial Strategy, we are investing record levels of funding to support research and development, nearly £7 billion by 2021, and we are determined that by 2027, 2.4% of GDP will be spent on research and development, boosting our economy and making sure our innovators have the right support to excel in what they do best. Through our recently published Creative Industries Sector Deal, we are supporting our creative industries more than ever and making sure a robust IP framework exists to protect their work. And through our continued support of our superb enforcement agencies we are making sure that those who infringe IP face the full force of the law.

And we are clearly doing something right. We routinely feature in the top three countries in global IP indexes, beating many global powers that produce some of the most iconic items, and we’re showing to the world that we not only have an environment for IP rich businesses to flourish, we have a world-leading IP regime to support them to go from strength to strength.

However, I am not complacent about this and I know that there is more to be done to make sure we have an IP framework fit for the future. Not only are we in an exciting period of transition in many industries bringing out fascinating and innovative products, we are also in a period where criminals are exploiting opportunities to steal IP and harm businesses and creators in ways that are challenging to stamp out.

This is why I regularly meet with industry and stakeholders to learn more about issues harming businesses and consulting on the best way to address them.  I recently held my first roundtable discussions with some of these key stakeholders, from registered rights representatives, to copyright and enforcement experts. And it was clear that we have a shared understanding of, and commitment to, tackle the challenges ahead of us and invest our efforts in maintaining our world leading position.

This World IP Day, my first World IP Day as Minister for IP, I reflect on the strong position we are in to support our IP rich industries, and it has left me striving to make sure that we not only continue to reach the top three countries in global IP indexes, that we reach the top spot and stay there for years to come.  

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