IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: First findings from the UK Innovation Survey 2007
Author: Stephanie Robson and Greg Haigh [Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills]

Economic & Labour Market Review 2, no. 4: 47-53

Year: 2008


Subject/Type: IP Knowledge, IP Protection
Focus: Commercialisation
Country/Territory: United Kingdom
Objective: To provide a periodic snapshot of the spectrum of innovation inputs and outputs and of the constraints faced by UK businesses in their innovation efforts, across the entire range of UK industries and business enterprises.
Sample: 14.872 enterprises with 10+ employees across manufacturing and services sectors
Methodology: Postal questionnaire

Main Findings

In the three-year period from 2004 to 2006, with the exception of confidentiality agreements, similar proportions of enterprises rated strategic and formal intellectual property (IP) protection mechanisms as being of high importance. Overall, the formal IP protection mechanisms (IP rights) considered important were confidentiality agreements (13%, up from 11% in the 2002 to 2004 period), trademarks (8%, up from 6%), copyright (8%, up from 6%), patents (6%, up from 5%), and registrations of design (6%, up from 4%).

Strategic methods to protect the value of innovations ("strategic" ways of preventing emulation) rated as important include lead-time advantage on competitors (10%, unchanged), secrecy (9%, unchanged), and complexity of design (5%, unchanged).

Large enterprises (with 250+ employees) attached greater importance than smaller enterprises to all methods for protecting IP, especially when it comes to confidentiality agreements (12% of smaller enterprises versus 26% of larger enterprises rating them as important) and trademarks (8% versus 19%).

While the gap between smaller and larger enterprises regarding the importance attached to strategic IP protection methods has narrowed somewhat between the 2005 and 2007 surveys, it has widened for the formal IP protection methods in 2004-2006. Overall though, the awareness of formal IP protection mechanisms has increased.

[Date Added: Aug 18, 2008 ]