National Intellectual Property Organization
World IP Day 2017
Innovation - Improving Lives

IP for Small Enterprises

Micro, Small and Medium enterprises are independently owned businesses set up with the objective of making reasonable profit on the investment made. Generally, SMEs are defined on the basis of one or more quantitative parameters such as number of persons employed, the annual turn over, or the level of their investment. SMEs are an extremely diverse and heterogeneous group with a very wide range of needs and concerns. Their intellectual property needs and concerns are, therefore, dependent on the nature and scale of their operations and on their relationships with other entities and enterprises. They could help promote innovative new technologies, managerial growth and competitiveness as also, equally, the absorption of technological innovations and exploitation of indigenous research findings. All Governments have placed SMEs high on their list of priorities, and generally provide numerous SME support services.

Creating IP Culture in SMEs

Governments are encouraging and facilitating the SMEs to make specific use of the Intellectual Property (IP) system to improve their competitiveness in the domestic and global market place. The IP system provides the mechanism to prevent those who do not have the right over protected new or original knowledge and technology, from using it without prior authorization of its owner(s) thereby preventing ‘free riding’. IP system provides the basis for greater security in developing trust worthy business and customer relationship of all kinds, including the provision of documentary evidence needed for resolution of disputes in a fair and transparent manner based on the rule of law. Intellectual Property Rights can play a major role in the following areas for increasing the competitiveness of SMEs:

Acquisition and exploitation of technological innovation
Preventing competitors from copying or closely imitating a company’s products
Obtaining access to new markets
Acquiring venture capital and enhancing access to finance
Enhancing the market value of a company
Avoiding wasteful investment in R&D and Marketing
Creating a corporate identity

Most studies undertaken, be they in developed or in developing countries, show that SMEs in general are not well informed about the potential benefits of using Intellectual Property assets in their business strategy.

The Scientist, the Patent and the Mangoes - Tripling the Mango Yield in the Philippines

By Elizabeth March, WIPO Magazine Editorial Team** Source: WIPO Magazine Issue No. 6/2008 dated June 2008
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