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The Internet has created plenty of opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as it has revolutionised the dynamics of international commerce and is an excellent means to boost brand visibility.

The Internet acts as a gateway for SMEs, but it is also an ideal platform for infringers to sell counterfeit products and commit fraud. One of the most significant challenges related to Internet fraud is cybersquatting.

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All projects receiving Horizon 2020 funding will have the obligation to make sure any peer-reviewed journal article which they publish is openly accessible, free of charge. This fact sheet is written as a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document, in order to answer queries received from Horizon 2020 applicants. This fact sheet should be read in parallel with the “Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020”.

This final fact sheet of our Horizon 2020 series highlights the steps you need to follow to pave the way for the exploitation and dissemination of the intellectual property generated during the implementation of your project.

This fact sheet gives guidance on the central IP issues which consortia need to consider during the grant preparation stage, which are encompassed in two main agreements underpinning the contractual framework of EU-funded projects: the Grant agreement and the Consortium Agreement. The grant preparation stage is extremely important since the main commitments concerning IP are agreed upon in this phase between the consortium and the European Commission, and among consortium partners.

This fact sheets intends to assist applicants in Horizon 2020 with the management of intellectual property in the proposal stage of their project. Even though Horizon 2020 research and innovation activities are implemented through different forms of funding, particularly grants, prizes, procurement and financial instruments, this fact sheets deals solely with grants. This fact sheet is the first of a series of three fact sheets dealing with the management of intellectual property in the different stages of a Horizon 2020 project.

This fact sheet has the aim to present tools, tips and practices for public research organisations (PROs) to convert the knowledge resulting from publicly funded research activities into socio-economic benefits. Through direct commercialisation tools and via public/private partnership the dissemination and transfer of the generated knowledge to the market can be ensured, with the objective of creating products and services to enhance social welfare.

This fact sheet deals with franchising. Franchising has been increasingly used by European companies and individuals as a route for exploitation of intangibles and expansion of their business to other territories and countries. This fact sheet will help understand what franchising is and particularly why it is an attractive business option, both for Franchisor Franchisee. Moreover, information on the legal environment in Europe and a checklist of the main steps to take when establishing a franchising partnership are provided in this document.

This fact sheet gives an overview of the different means at the disposal of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and research organisations (ROs) to access finance, in order to obtain liquidity from their intangible. The aim is to show that IP can be used as leverage for attracting investors, as collateral for obtaining credit and loans as well as receivables for securitisations. All of this can derive from banks, equity investors and the public sector.

Experts reckon that much of the technical information contained in patents is not available anywhere else, and that it contains around 80% of the worldwide technical knowledge. However, patent information analysis is not easy: patent documents are abundant, lengthy and are written in very technical language. Thus, reading and analysing patent documents can be complex and time consuming. This is where the use of Automatic Patent Analysis (APA) can help. This fact sheet provides some useful tools and explains how to perform an APA.

These different forms of knowledge can be exchanged with other organisations, leading to improved use of knowledge and creation of innovation. In fact, innovation is nowadays mainly based on the interactions between businesses, as well as between them and research organisations. These relationships and transfers of knowledge allow businesses to exploit their own knowledge with the purpose of improving and creating new technologies, products and services, allowing the business to grow. These knowledge transfers are generally ruled by agreements, which can be complex. This is why this fact sheet aims to provide an overview of the common types of agreements through which they are achieved. Moreover, the most important matters to consider in these agreements are highlighted, helping you to protect your intangibles.

This fact sheet highlights some low-cost strategies that SMEs could adopt to exploit their intangible assets and therefore reap the benefits of the IP system. It is important to note that there is no single best way to manage intangible assets and that the choice of the different tools certainly depends on the business strategy of the enterprise. Most importantly, for a business plan to be successful and fruitful, strategic decisions should be jointly taken with managers, lawyers, employers/creators and intellectual assets consultants.