Over two thirds of financial services providers in the UK believe that their success depends on protecting intellectual property rights, yet over half have no protection systems in place, according to a new survey conducted by Marks & Clerk, a London-based patent and trade mark attorney firm.
Although 68 per cent of financial services companies surveyed believe that protecting intellectual capital is important or very important to their success, many fail to carry out the most basic tasks to enable them to do so, says Marks & Clerk.
Only 44 per cent of the sample have a system in place for identifying when they need to seek patent protection for an idea or invention and barely 18 per cent conduct regular audits of their intellectual property. Similarly, only 26 per cent undertake competitor or industry sector monitoring of applications for patents and trademarks.
The survey indicates that 58 per cent of financial services companies have established procedures to identify when a new or potential brand name requires trade mark protection.
Simon Mounteney, partner at Marks & Clerk, comments: "With fierce competition from a raft of new entrants to the sector, most financial services companies cite the need for a strong brand - especially online – but do not know how to protect it by registering it as a trade mark in the UK and internationally, and then monitoring its effectiveness through keeping track of competitor activity."
The survey was conducted among 203 firms drawn from the financial, engineering, technology and pharmaceutical sectors.