Business Secretary Vince Cable reveals plans to help firms make the most of their creativity and innovations

Business Secretary Vince Cable has outlined new plans to ensure Britain's creativity and innovation are fully harnessed to support business growth.

Speaking at The Big Innovation Centre, he set out a number of measures that will change the way the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) operates to boost businesses.

The new measures will come into force next year and it is hoped they will help firms get the best value from their ideas.

When the changes are introduced they will give the IPO powers beyond just granting rights and make it do more to provide support for companies.

To make these changes as seamless as possible, the IPO will also be working hand-in-hand with other organisations that give advice to businesses, such as UKTI, trade associations, chambers of commerce, banks and accountants.

One of the new measures included in the plan is the streamlining of the patent processing service so that patents can be turned around in just 90 days, while the time taken to complete a full trademark examination report will be halved to five days.

There will also be an IP advisory service introduced to highlight ways small businesses can take full advantage of their creativity.

Meanwhile, a renewed awareness campaign will be launched to remind or educate consumers and young people about the harm caused by illegal downloading or counterfeiting.

Under the plans the IPO will also work closely with partners such as the City of London Police to combat online piracy and counterfeiting crimes.

Dr Cable said: "Our creativity, our openness to and talent for innovation is a key pillar of our return to robust growth. So it is right we work to create the environment in which creative, innovative businesses of all shapes and sizes flourish.

"A vital part of getting this is making sure that the intellectual property landscape encourages and cements success and growth. The new vision for how we support businesses and consumers is central to achieving this."

"Making sure consumers are protected from counterfeiters and better understand the use and value of intellectual property is also key."

Copyright Press Association 2012