To many, intellectual property (IP) is a
rather obscure legal concept that can only be properly understood and
applied by those who are specially trained. You may be asking yourself
why any small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and, more so, your SME
should pay attention to IP, or what benefits your SME could possibly
draw from its use. The following links may provide answers to some of
Why Is Intellectual Property Relevant To Your SME?
inventiveness, intellectual property is all around us. Every product or
service that we use in our daily lives is the result of a long chain of big or
innovations, such as changes in
designs, or improvements that make a product look or function the way it
Systemic Innovation: 7 Areas
Take a simple product. For
example, a pen. Ladislao Biro’s famous patent on
ballpoint pens was in many ways a breakthrough. But,
like him, many others have improved the product and its
designs and legally protected their
through the acquisition of IP rights. The
trademark on your pen is also intellectual property,
and it helps the producer to market the product and
develop a loyal clientele.
would be the case with almost any product or service in the marketplace. Take
Patent protection is likely to have been obtained for its various technical
design may be protected by industrial design rights. The
brand name is most probably protected by a trademark and the software it
uses is also somehow protected.
So, How Does this Affect Your Business?
Regardless of what product your enterprise makes or what service it provides, it
is likely that it is regularly using and creating a great deal of intellectual
property. This being the case, you should systematically consider the steps
required for protecting, managing and enforcing it, so as to get the best
possible commercial results from its ownership. If you are using intellectual
property that belongs to others, then you should consider
buying it or acquiring
the rights to use it by taking a license in order to avoid a dispute and
consequent expensive litigation.
every SME has a trade name or one or more trademarks and should consider
protecting them. Most SMEs will have valuable confidential business information,
from customers' lists to
that they may wish to protect. A large number would have developed creative
original designs. Many would have produced, or assisted in the publication,
dissemination or retailing of a copyrighted work. Some may have invented or
improved a product or service.
such cases, your SME should consider how best to use the IP system to its own
benefit. Remember that IP may assist your SME in almost every aspect of your
product development to
product design, from service delivery to
raising financial resources
to exporting or expanding your business abroad through
licensing or franchising.
out how all this and many other things may happen, follow through the pages of
this web site and discover the world of intellectual property and the
opportunities it offers to your SME.