Patents, Trade Marks, Designs & Copyright

IP Audits – UKIPO funding scheme

Businesses can apply for UKIPO funding towards the cost of an IP audit.

SMEs can apply for funding towards an audit of their intellectual property via the UK Intellectual Property Office’s (UKIPO) Intellectual Property (IP) Audits Plus service.

The service aims to provide SMEs with guidance and advice in respect of IP management, commercialisation and marketing to ensure that they can obtain their IP rights, identify opportunities to use them in their wider business strategy and maximise their value.

The IP audit will be carried out by an IP professional and will provide you with clear recommendations as to how your business could leverage value out of your IP and how to develop an IP management plan to integrate your IP assets into your wider business strategy.

Who is eligible for an IP audit?

To apply for an audit, you must be an:

  • SME (fewer than 250 employees and turnover of not more than £41m);
  • Able to demonstrate in your application that the IP audit will form a key part of achieving your business growth plans; and
  • Engaged with one of the IPO partner business support schemes. The recognised partners are the Enterprise Europe Network, Scottish Enterprise and the Welsh Government.

How can an IP audit benefit your company?

  • It can provide a greater understanding of your IP assets;
  • Guidance regarding potential patentability as well as IP strategy and management;
  • Advice and guidance towards IP ownership;
  • Budget assistance regarding potential costs involved with protecting their innovations and technologies.

How much funding will I receive?

The total value of the IP Audit is £3,000 (including VAT). The UKIPO contributes £2,500 (inc VAT) towards the audit and participating companies must contribute the remaining £500 (inc VAT) on completion of the report.

The funding cannot be used to prepare and file an application for a patent, registered trade mark or design – it can only be used towards the cost of the audit.

Who can carry out the IP Audit?

SMEs who are successful in receiving the funding can choose any qualified UK-based IP professional to carry out the audit. Wilson Gunn is one of the recommended suppliers who can carry out the audit.

How do I apply?

An application must be submitted to the UK  IPO via a dedicated Innovation Specialist through the Innovate UK innovate2succeed programme or the corresponding Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) programme. Prior to submitting the application, an Innovation Specialist will discuss with you the benefits of the audit and what you can expect to gain from it. If an audit is considered appropriate, the Innovation Specialist will work with you to complete the form and send it to the IPO on your behalf.

If the UKIPO accepts your application, you can then instruct an IP professional such as Wilson Gunn to carry out the audit.

For help accessing the funding available for an IP audit, please contact the European Enterprise Network.