UK Gov’s IPO Unveils New IP and Business Growth Survey


  • new government survey aimed at businesses explores the role of intellectual property (IP) and business growth
  • IP intensive industries account for more than a quarter of UK output – around £300 billion a year
  • intangible assets, often protected by IP, may make up around 70 to 80% of a company’s worth
  • the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) wants to explore awareness and use of IP assets by businesses seeking to grow

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is asking businesses to share their views on the role intellectual property plays in supporting the growth of their business. It is inviting them to take part in a short survey.

In a modern global economy, innovation, creativity, design and brand recognition are increasingly important to business success. All these elements are underpinned by IP rights, such as copyright, trade marks, patents, and designs.

The IPO wants to support businesses to manage their IP rights effectively. It is conducting a review of UK’s IP-backed finance ecosystem and IP insurance landscape. The new survey forms part of this review.

The survey covers a broad range of topics. Responses will help the IPO:

  • better understand how businesses may raise external finance – including leveraging their IP assets to secure funding
  • explore awareness, perception and use of IP litigation insurance products among businesses
  • better understand how to support businesses most effectively in managing their IP assets

The IPO wants to hear from businesses of all sizes, and from a wide range of sectors, which hold IP – whether an individual entrepreneur, start-up, established firm or large corporate.

The IPO’s Director of Business and International Policy, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, said:

In a fast-evolving global economy, access to finance remains a key issue for every business. To ensure businesses can capitalise on new opportunities, we want to support them to understand and use their IP effectively, helping to foster economic growth and prosperity.

We want to hear from as many businesses as possible – and especially, from innovative firms looking to grow. This will help us understand their issues and target our support to meet their needs. We want businesses of all types and sizes to have their say, so would urge them to complete our survey by the end of January.

Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Matt Dixon, said:

CIPA enthusiastically supports the IPO’s survey and encourages all businesses to participate. It is widely recognised that intellectual property represents a significant part of the value of practically all businesses, so it’s important that business owners are able to identify and protect their intellectual assets, particularly when seeking funding for growth.

The survey will help the IPO to better understand business’ awareness and use of intellectual property rights, which should help to focus the advice and support from the IPO. This is a great step in providing even better support to business.

We want to hear from you

The survey closes on 2 February 2024. Responses will be analysed, and a summary of themes will be published later in 2024 on GOV.UK.

To take part, visit IP and Business Growth Survey.


1) A 2022 report by the Intellectual Property Office on the use of IP rights across UK industries found that:

  • around 95% of all UK business sectors contained businesses that had at least one IP right
  • industries with an above average use in IP rights accounted for 26.9% (£298.5 billion) of UK non-financial value-added output, 15.5% (4.5 million) of total UK employment and 52.1% (£159.7 billion) of goods exported
  • 35.4% of UK industries were found to have above average IP usage in any of the four IP rights considered (patents, trade marks, registered designs and copyright), with 14.9% of UK industries (92) having high IP usage

2) The most recent ONS (Office for National Statistics) figures showed that investment in intangible assets was £168.7 billion in 2019 – £8.5 billion higher than investment in tangible assets in the same period.

3) A previous study commissioned by the IPO also estimated that 70% of a typical company’s worth lies in intangible assets. This research also suggests that the value of such assets may not always be visible to business managers.

4) The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trade marks and copyright. IPO is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

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