The UK Intellectual Property Office has issued a consultation calling for views on “maximising the incentives of the Intellectual Property system to stimulate collaborative innovation and licensing opportunities”. The consultation, “Industrial Strategy: Intellectual Property Call for Views [PDF]” closes on 15 November 2017.

The consultation forms part of the government’s plans for an “ambitious new industrial strategy” and asks the question what can the government do to encourage innovators to do more collaboration and commercialisation and to stimulate knowledge exchange and follow-on innovation.

The consultation notes that the UK’s IP regime is regarded as strong and so the call for views is not intended to result in a review of the UK’s legislative system. Instead the idea is that users of the IP system should submit their ideas which relate to the following criteria:

  1. Targeted intervention to process or policy;
  2. Within the remit of IP;
  3. Back by evidence (in the form of narratives of experiences, case studies, published analysis or empirical data).

The reference to “users of the IP system” above will hopefully mean that a wide range of respondents will reply to this consultation, not just IP professionals. Responses to the consultation will be used to help develop the government’s industrial strategy.

An Annex to the consultation lists a number of example proposals that have already been received. Responses to the consultation may respond to these ideas or add new proposals. In particular, the annex lists the following:

IP Trading platforms – the IPO is keen to hear views on IP trading platforms and whether more can be done to increase the amount of trading on such platforms. The ACID marketplace is also name checked here.

B2B model IP agreements – the Lambert Model IP Agreements help collaboration between universities and business (see here). The consultation wonders whether there should or could be a similar toolkit relating to business to business collaborations.

Voluntary IP Register – would a voluntary register be helpful, e.g. in establishing authorship or ownership of rights, or would it just increase legal and admin burdens? The consultation specifically mentions copyright and unregistered design right in this section.

New financial products – can more be done to help IP rich businesses access lending based on those assets.

IP Licensing resolution – the IPO operates a tribunal in the copyright sphere to help in licensing disputes and the consultation asks if the IPO should offer a similar service for determining licensing disputes between organisations operating in a field involving standards reliant technologies.

Royalty-free patents – the UK could build an open-source philosophy into its patent system by allowing patents to be declared free of charge to use. Tesla gets a mention here because of their policy in this area (see All Our Patent Are Belong To You).

IP valuation standards – the IPO would like to identify whether there are barriers that could be overcome to allow more businesses to value their IP.

Brexit – does not get a single mention……

Anyone wishing to respond to the consultation should either email or write to the UKIPO at the details below, detailing information relating to type of respondent, business sectors that you operate in, size of business/proportion of IP assets, UK and international regions that you operate in, how you spend on IP, what parts of the IP system you use, whether there’s more the IPO could do to help UK companies overseas, what you value about the UK system and what barriers you face when using the system.

Write to: Intellectual Property Office Concept House Cardiff Road Newport NP10 8QQ

Just a quick reminder that the UKIPO’s last consultation on statutory patent fees only got 23 respondents. The present consultation will hopefully get a wider range of responses….