By Marcus Leach

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has wholeheartedly endorsed the latest initiative from Government aimed at tackling intellectual property disregard in the workplace.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has launched new website pages aimed at providing practical guidance to businesses for avoiding IP infringement.

The new web pages give detailed information for businesses on:

- IPR Infringement in the Workplace
- Samples of IP policies for businesses
- Establishing IT management policies
- A guide for managers on IPR infringement
- A guide for procurement of goods and services
- A guide for staff on IPR infringement
- A guide on reporting IP crime
- Auditing IP
- A Powerpoint slide pack for managers on IP crime
- Powerpoint slide pack for staff on IP crime

“This is a tremendously valuable resource for the business community, as it will guide them through the minefield that is intellectual property in the workplace," Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel, Federation Against Software Theft, stated.

"This simple to use, free service will give a steer on everything from setting up IP policies through to how to report IP crime. FAST is delighted to have helped in its development as we see this as an important educational tool in the fight against software piracy and counterfeiting which can creep into the business environment.

“The key question we would therefore urge UK business leaders to ask is this: is your office or business being used to carry out infringing activities (either work or personal)? If so, any legal risks should be met head on, dealing with the issue so that there is no exposure to yourself and your business.

"This will also help to manage against IT security breaches including viruses which hamper staff productivity. This guide for businesses on IP rights (IPR) infringement at work is to help you assess your risk and develop your response."

The new site — - will go live on 23rd September 2011 at an event hosted by the Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Wilcox at the Scottish IP Crime Group.

“This new free guidance is a great example of government, enforcement agencies and industry working together to raise awareness of the importance of managing intellectual property in the workplace," Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox, said.

"I would urge companies of all sizes to look at the guidance so they know how to protect their own IP and how to respect the IP of others. If they don’t, they expose themselves to the risk of legal action and risk damaging their own reputation and brand.

“Intellectual property rights are essential to the success and growth of any business. However, many companies can leave themselves open to prosecution if they or their staff infringe the IP rights belonging to other companies or individuals.”

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness