The importance of IP for SMEs outlined on World Intellectual Property Day.
Today, 26 April, is World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, established by the World Intellectual Property Oganization (WIPO) to raise awareness of how businesses, individuals, economies and society as a whole benefit from patents, trademarks, design rights, copyrights and other forms of IP.
In today’s knowledge-based economy, individuals and companies of all sizes across the globe are increasingly dependent on IP to enable them to fulfil their passions and achieve their goals. Companies that rely on IP are boosting today’s economies through creating jobs, growing GDP, driving technical innovations and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. As a result, IP is the starting point and cornerstone of growing business, especially for SMEs.
Products or services that are protected by IP are worth on average between 180 - 240% more than those that aren’t protected. Companies that protect their innovations can also significantly increase their market valuation, turnover, investment and employee growth.
A recent IDC Report commissioned by the EU shows that SMEs mainly use intellectual property rights (IPR), to realise financial benefits from their new products, services or processes (81 percent for copyright, 69 percent for patents), and to gain access to funding (27 percent for copyright, 34 percent for patents).
On the whole, small firms tend to rely more heavily on IPR, than larger firms. SMEs file more patents and trademarks relative to their assets and number of employees. Furthermore, patent applications and issued patents speed up venture capital funding for start-up companies by 76 percent, and lead to more investors, larger amounts of investment, and a greater likelihood of achieving an initial public offering.
IP also spurs creativity, fosters innovation and helps inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. According to WIPO, the ever-increasing body of public knowledge from existing patent information promotes further creativity and innovation in others.
Subsequently, patents not only provide protection for the owner but also valuable information and inspiration for future generations of entrepreneurs.
Getting ahead of the game
IP protection needs to become an integral part of your company’s DNA. Protecting your brand and products will enable you to gain significant business advantage by increasing your overall market value, allowing you to expand your customer base and subsequently grow in size; maybe even across international markets. By investing in trademarking your logo and products for example, you’ll be sure to safeguard your revenue and market as well as protecting your company from any free-riders.
Additionally, if you need to work with partners or customers to develop a specific product or service offering, protecting your IP allows you to openly and safely share your innovations. This not only stimulates creativity but also enables you to be far more flexible in your approach.
For small businesses getting started or medium sized enterprises looking to get ahead, it is imperative to have IP protection. By protecting your brand and products, you’re not only safeguarding your reputation but also your revenue stream, market positioning and company’s future.
Newer news items:
Older news items: