New British Standard offers better protection for inventors

Press release - 4 March 2011

A new British Standard setting out for the first time good practice and principals of ethical behaviour for organisations providing services to inventors has just been published by BSI.

In recent years there has been a substantial increase in the number of organisations offering services to inventors and other originators and developers of ideas.  Such organisations include commercial companies, universities that specialise in invention and product design, and inventors’ clubs.  While many of these are reputable and protect inventors’ intellectual property rights, some take advantage of inventors either inadvertently or intentionally.

The new standard, BS 8538 Specification for the provision of services relating to intellectual property rights, should help to provide a consistent level of service and aid inventors to navigate the fragmented market for intellectual property services in the United Kingdom.

Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox welcomed the standard and said:

"For inventors and small businesses the intellectual property system can seem complex and daunting. Commercial success will often depend on the advice and support of a professional advisor. It is vital that inventors and businesses are able to choose their advisor with confidence.

"I am pleased that we now have this new British Standard for services relating to the commercialisation of intellectual property rights to help with that choice".

Dan Palmer, Head of Market Development at British Standards Institution (BSI) said:

"The new standard should help reputable service providers to ensure that they are treating inventors fairly, and help inventors to understand what to expect when they begin the process of securing the intellectual property rights for an idea."