Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Red tape cut is welcome move

Businesses will now find it easier and cheaper to protect themselves from competitors thanks to a new ruling.
Our senior partner, Graham Davies, said the new revised mediation service launched by the Intellectual Property Office was a “breath of fresh air”.
“Many businesses, particularly the very smallest, underestimate the value of their ideas, systems, services and products, and they may not even realise protection is available. But I have seen businesses ruined as a direct result of a competitor or a former employee plagiarising their ideas, when all the time they could have had protection in place.”

The new-look mediation service has been designed to make it cheaper and quicker for small businesses to resolve their intellectual property disputes, and is an alternative to the often costly and lengthy court cases that companies face. It will offer access to a greater variety of mediation options including short telephone sessions, a wider range of specialist accredited mediators and reduced mediation fees.

“Previously businesses may have been wary about taking action because of the time and cost, but this announcement is a breath of fresh air which should make things much quicker,” said Graham. “Intellectual property is a complex legal area and expert advice is crucial before your business gets involved in a dispute – resorting to court action should be the last resort, and not the first step.

“This cut in red tape will certainly make the resolution of disputes much easier, and we welcome any initiatives that help small businesses to operate more freely and cost effectively.”

The IPO Mediation Service was originally established in 2006 to help resolve intellectual property disputes as quickly, effectively and efficiently as possible, but traditionally businesses have been reluctant to use it. Now it is hoped the modernised service will prove more user-friendly and more popular with the businesses who need its support.