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SMALL & MEDIUM SIZED ENTERPRISES...continued

THE CHALLENGES AHEAD

Insufficient information on the relevance of IP in day-to-day business, high costs associated with obtaining and enforcing IP rights, perceptions that the IP system is esoteric, too cumbersome and time consuming: These are among the reasons why so many SMEs are sometimes slow to protect their intellectual property assets.

As an international intergovernmental organization dedicated to promoting the creation, use, and protection of intellectual property worldwide, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) draws upon its experience and expertise in IP related issues to help its Members States to overcome these obstacles and take better advantage of the IP system. Given the importance of SMEs to the economies of all nations(they constitute some 90 percent of all enterprises worldwide and account for more than 70 percent of the production of goods and services), effective use by SMEs of IP assets is a key factor in ongoing economic development.

MAIN OBJECTIVES

WIPO's SME initiative aims to:

Promote a greater use of the intellectual property systems by SMEs;

Strengthen the capacity of national governments to develop strategies, policies and programs to meet the intellectual property needs of SMEs;

Improve the capacity of relevant public, private and civil society institutions, such as business and industry associations, to provide IP related services to SMEs;

Provide comprehensive web-based information and basic advice on IP issues to SMEs;

Provide comprehensive web-based information and basic advice on IP issues to SME support organizations worldwide.

WIPO'S SME activites

WIPO is identifying existing programs and activities designed to enhance SME competitiveness at national, regional and

International levels to help assess the needs of SMEs, identify and disseminate information on best practices, and forge partnerships with appropriate institutions. Cooperation with these institutions and strengthening their IP component is a key focus of WIPO's SME program.

WIPO's outreach activities include distance learning programs, distribution of publications, self-help kits, piloting training workshops, web-based dissemination of information, press campaigns, and direct support to business associations in their own outreach activities.

Information on the role of intellectual property rights in the overall business strategy of an enterprise are presented from a managerial perspective, with an emphasis on the role of patents in product development strategy, as well as the use of trademarks, designs and geographical indications as marketing tools. Workshops, seminars, and information materials focus on:

    • Introduction to IP concepts from a business perspective;
    • IP management for business success;
    • Use of patent and trademark data as a source of technological and commercial information;
    • Exploitation of IP assets through licensing, franchising, technological alliances and joint ventures.

WIPO is continuing to enhance and expand its program for SMEs. For further information, please contact IPOPNG.


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