In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a large amount of government backed funding made available in the UK to promote UK based innovation. In particular, various schemes, competitions, grants and loans have been announced with the aim of helping UK SMEs involved in technology and R&D grow as the Covid-19 disruption dies down. We have reported on a number of these recently. An area that is important for achieving this aim, but is perhaps at risk of being overlooked during this period of widespread disruption and uncertainty, is intellectual property.
“European SMEs generally make effective use of European patents to protect their key inventions, and successfully commercialise up to two thirds of them”, according to a new study published by the European Patent Office (EPO). However, serious challenges remain, ranging from a lack of IP expertise and resources available to SMEs, to the need for more contacts to support their commercialisation efforts across Europe.