Intellectual Property | SMEs Lack Protection Against Software Theft

According to a recent survey by the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), over half of the business owners polled felt that not enough was being done to protect them against IP infringement or theft.

And almost half of the people surveyed felt that a potential threat to their company’s IP would lead directly to the loss of their job, with over 20 per cent believing that the Government should increase the punishment for infringers.

The Digital Economy Act is moving towards being implemented following a number of high profile legal test cases and Judicial Reviews and yet, despite this, many of the survey participants were unaware of the legislation and the legal framework currently being rolled-out.

Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel at FAST, commented: “UK business is saying they are still concerned about the theft of their IP and the majority believe still not enough is being done to protect those rights!

“This appears to be hitting home with one ‘killer fact’: roughly half (49 per cent) of respondents felt that their jobs would be threatened if copyright infringers were to target their company’s IP, up from 39 per cent in the last year alone.

“In spite of numerous Government led reviews on copyright reform and IP protection, businesses and individuals remain somewhat in the dark as to what their specific rights and protections are.

“Whereas larger software house often possess the knowledge or the economic clout to seek out and pursue copyright infringers, many SMEs are not in a position to do so. It’s therefore important that we empower SMEs to act when their IP is being threatened and make the legislative process as efficient and straightforward as possible to help SMEs to fortify themselves against IP theft,’ he added.

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Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London