In its latest published report[i] EUIPO, citing the earlier common project study in cooperation with the EPO[ii], it was found that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who were using their Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) “were more likely to achieve growth in subsequent years than other companies”. Moreover, SMEs which are registered with a combination of trademarks, patents and designs, more than tripled the likelihood of achieving high growth. In addition, this effect was shown to be even stronger when SMEs were not only registering their IPRs on a National level, but on a European level as well. This finding, further indicates the importance of international reach for the high growth of the company.
IPR assets have long been exalted for their positive impact on almost every business element. This is of course logical as the return on investment ratio is shown to be highly in favour of protecting IPRs. Nevertheless, IPR accumulation has now been evidenced to have a positive impact on business indicators such as turnover, employment, profitability and ability to access finance.
The report points out that, the main reasons for registering IPRs include (but are not limited to):
- to prevent copying;
- to increase legal certainty; and
- to improve the image and value of the company.
After registering their IPRs, the majority of businesses (54%) has seen a positive impact on their business’s reputation, turnover and ability to access new markets.
The most common reason for not protecting IPRs remains the lack of knowledge about IPRs and their benefits. In addition, many SMEs believe that IPR registration and enforcement procedures are too lengthy and too costly. It must be said, however, that the positive impact as explained above, seems to far outweigh the concerns raised by SMEs.
It is evident that there are strong and well supported reasons for the protection of IPRs by SMEs as they offer authentic financial and strategic value.
Michael Kyprianou & Co LLC has a leading Intellectual Property practice with a team of experienced lawyers who are able to advise and assist clients in relation to both contentious and non-contentious IP matters. If you need any advice in relation to Intellectual Property Rights please contact our Head of IP, Agis Charalambous, at firstname.lastname@example.org