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Warning on protecting intellectual property

Many financial services firms are failing to protect their intellectual property, leaving themselves exposed to the risk of attacks by competitors, according to patent and trademark lawyers Marks & Clerk.

A survey commissioned by the company shows that although 93 per cent of financial services firms with a turnover of £5m or more believe that protecting innovation and ideas is more important than it was 10 years ago, 33 per cent of businesses have no system to monitor and protect their intellectual property rights.

Fifty-three per cent of firms have no executive in charge of intellectual property and only 16 per cent have a designated executive at board level.

The study of over 200 companies also claimed that financial services is more exposed to these risks than other sectors. Only 65 per cent of financial services firms have processes in place to monitor intangible assets compared with 72 per cent of technology companies and 75 per cent of pharmaceutical firms.

Marks & Clerk partner Aidan Clarke says: “Patent and trademark portfolios are powerful commercial weapons and ultimately can affect the bottom line. Consequently, the business community really needs to get more proactive about protection before it is too late.

“Intellectual property protection through patents, designs and trademarks is essential to stop deliberate or unwitting imitation.”


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