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June 13, 2014

Also in the news this week – 13 June 2014

Should you sign up to a .uk domain?

Businesses with a web domain ending in .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk or .ltd.uk now have the opportunity to change to the shorter .uk. The new domain will be reserved for those firms until 2019. However, Internet For Business (IFB) has recommended that businesses act now. Graeme Gordon, CEO of IFB, said: "It's important for businesses to register all variations of their domain (if possible) to ensure that their name is not compromised. It will also help direct visitors to the correct website if they type in the wrong address." Organisations can check whether they have rights to the .uk domain using the Nominet rights checker tool.

Government targets counterfeiting

Clothing, tobacco and alcohol are the most common counterfeited items in the UK, according to new research released at this week's International IP Enforcement Summit where the government has set out its plans to tackle IP crime. Lord Younger, IP minister, said: "The UK invests much more in knowledge and ideas than it does in assets such as buildings and machinery, and IP intensive industries account for a third of all jobs in the EU. The government is committed to supporting these industries and making sure that intellectual property rights are understood and respected."

UK growth expected to be double 2013 rate

The accountancy body ICAEW has upgraded its latest growth forecast from 3.3% to 3.4%, based on record levels of business confidence. It predicts that GDP growth for the year will be twice the level (1.7%) seen in 2013. The ICAEW is also forecasting that 450,000 private sector jobs will be created over the next 12 months. In addition, business investment is forecast to grow by 8.2% this year, up from a previous forecast of 7.1%. Risks remain, however, including skills shortages in some sectors and an over-reliance on domestic orders.

The benefits of providing free WiFi

Shops, cafes, bars, hotels and restaurants that provide free WiFi are rewarded with more visits, increased spend and longer stays, according to new research by Purple WiFi. It found that 72% of people now use public WiFi, and 78% specifically look for free WiFi connections when they are out and about. 77% are more likely to go to a location if it offers free WiFi and 63% are more likely to spend additional money in a venue that offers WiFi. However, the research also shows that understanding of online security is lacking, with 17% of respondents saying they do their banking via unsecured public WiFi.