28 | 06 | 2016

Intellectual Property and Small and Medium Enterprises Scoreboard


The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published a study providing an insight into attitudes of small and medium enterprises (SME) in the European Union towards intellectual property protection.

This study was published under the title of “Intellectual Property (IP) SME Scoreboard 2016” and it is a follow-up to the earlier conducted study titled “Intellectual Property Rights and Firm Performance in Europe: an Economic Analysis” published in June 2015, showing that only 9% of European SMEs have intellectual property rights protected.

For the needs of this study, 8970 SMEs in total from various sectors have been researched. The study shows that the majority of SMEs considers their business as innovative, and they protect their innovations via formal forms of intellectual property rights and within alternative possibilities of protection. As according to SMEs, the most important protection measures are internet domain names (47%), trade secret (42%), whereas trademarks come in third place (37%). SMEs that implement protection procedures for intellectual property rights point out to be strengthening both their reputation on the market by such protection and an impression of their company as a reliable business partner, they strengthen long-term perspective of the company, increase business income and expand the market. The majority of SMEs implementing the protection of intellectual property rights believes that such protection has a positive or a very positive impact on their business. On the other hand, the main reasons why SMEs do not protect their innovations are that 35% of them do not see any benefits in such protection, 13% of them consider to be lacking knowledge about it, whereas 10% of them point out to costly protection procedures. There is also information given in the study that almost one third of SMEs that protected their intellectual property rights suffered from infringements of these rights or tried to resolve these disputes by alternative methods, whereas a small number of them decided to initiate court procedures, which are considered to be long-lasting and expensive.

The study is available at the following link.

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