The British Standards Institute, sponsored by Innovate UK, has recently published a free to download PAS 440:2020 Responsible Innovation – Guide. The guide aims to provide comprehensive direction for companies on best practice for innovators. It helps those companies consider the wider implications of their innovation, capture the outcomes of that consideration, and communicate those outcomes to stakeholders.
The guide is relevant to any company that is taking new products, services or processes to market, and targets companies who want to innovate responsibly and to demonstrate that they are doing so.
It is clear from the guide that responsible innovation, and indeed sustainability, is not purely altruistic. The Preface by Paul Mason of Innovate UK, rightly points out that innovation is more successful when the different stakeholders in a value chain act in a coherent way, and that new products, services, and processes that work for all parts of a supply chain are more likely to flourish. Given that more and more companies will have responsible innovation and indeed sustainability – a theme that runs through the guide including by referencing the UN’s sustainable development goals – as some part of their mission statement, this guide will surely be welcomed.
Evidently, transparency forms a key part of a company’s responsibility, and making any Responsible Innovation report available to stakeholders will be part of that transparency. Nevertheless, we are pleased to see that the report highlights the importance of ensuring companies balance the need for transparency with the need to protect their valuable Intellectual Property. This is yet another reason for a company to have a clear, and well thought-out, IP strategy, to enable them to know when they can safely communicate with their stakeholders.
Yet another reason why incorporating IP strategy into the broader Business Strategy is critical to a company’s success.
If you would like to discuss how an effective IP strategy can help your business, or for more information about the various forms of intellectual property protection, please contact us.
This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.