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Intellectual property system to be reviewed

The government is to carry out a review of intellectual property and its value to the UK economy.

The research programme, to be conducted by the Intellectual Property office (IPO), will examine whether the current intellectual property system best serves the British economy and enables businesses to thrive and develop.

Working with international partners in Europe and the US, the IPO will assess the role that intellectual property plays in the knowledge economy and analyse information on levels of investment in copyright and design.

There will also be a review of the returns UK businesses receive from patents and a look at firms using alternatives to patents.

Baroness Wilcox, the intellectual property minister, said: "Intellectual property has a key role to play in rebalancing the British economy. The highly-skilled industries where the UK can excel are driven by innovation.

"Britain must have an intellectual property system that encourages innovation and is internationally competitive.

"The research programme will improve our understanding of intellectual property and its economic value. It will help ensure that future policy decisions are based on proper research and evidence."

The minister added: "The important research the IPO will carry out over the coming year will help ensure Britain has an intellectual property system that helps businesses grow and prosper."