SMEs

TAPOINTEL: Managing innovation in an SME

Every day there are many good ideas and research results that are put aside due to inappropriate innovation strategies.

This case study, based on the direct experience of Tapointel S.L., demonstrates how an SME can succeed in managing innovation and setting up an effective patent application strategy with the support of a European IPR Helpdesk Ambassador.


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European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (20)

We are pleased to inform you that a new issue of the European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin has been released and is now available online.

Does your business have know-how, inventions or brands? Then you have intangible assets that can be brought to the market to create new revenues and increase profits.

This Bulletin issue is largely dedicated to IP Commercialisation comprising the different available mechanisms to realise economic values from Intellectual Property (IP).

Particular attention is given to licensing as the most common IP commercialisation tool presenting specificities depending on the Intellectual Property involved.

An insight on licensing and Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) is offered by an article of Mr Matteo Sabattini and Ms Alessandra Mosca from Sisvel.

Read our interviews to discover the point of view of European SMEs on IP management and commercialisation.

As always, the Bulletin reports information about past IPR events together with some fresh news on the Helpline service. In addition, it contains the usual patent quiz and a new IP commercialisation crossword.

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SME case studies

The European Patent Office (EPO), in close collaboration with renowned IP experts, has published a set of twelve case studies on a range of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across Europe.

The studies show how companies can proactively adapt their IP strategy to real business needs, and illustrate the variety of approaches to and advantages of using IP. They also highlight the benefits that SMEs can expect from the planned Unitary Patent. This reform will offer businesses a simpler alternative to the existing system, and introduce a more cost-effective route to broad and uniform patent protection and dispute resolution throughout the participating EU member states.

For further information on this publication and to download the case studies, visit the EPO's website here.

Guide: Successful collaboration between companies and research institutes

Luxinnovation, an organisation that contributes to the economic development of Luxembourg by fostering innovation, fuelling international growth and attracting foreign direct investment, has developed a guide, together with:

  • IPIL (Institut de la Propriété Intellectuelle Luxembourg)
  • FNR (Luxembourg National Research Fund), and
  • the Luxembourguish Ministry of Economy

on how to succeed with public-private R&D collaboration and what it takes to start that kind of collaboration. The guide focuses on collaborative research and how to find the right R&D partner. It also provides an overview of available funding.

Learn more about this guide and download it, here.

TNtech: The ABC of IP strategy for a small R&D company

Transforming the results of R&D into commercially viable products is a business challenge that must be carried out in conformity with a coherent IP strategy. Such a strategy helps save time and resources. Additionally, a sound IP strategy is a key element in avoiding and fighting against infringement and unfair competition practices carried out by competitors. 

In this new case study, TNtech, a Slovakian SME, tells us about the main measures adopted within the framework of its IP strategy and shares some useful advice with us. 

Commission to invest € 97 million to help 64 small businesses bring their innovations to the market

The European Commission has selected 64 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) from 16 countries for funding in the latest round of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2. 

Funding under Phase 2 of the instrument allows companies to invest in innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up and miniaturisation, in addition to developing a mature business plan for their product.

Find out more about the most successful companies selected for funding and some other interesting figures here

EUIPO study: "Protecting Innovation Through Trade Secrets and Patents: Determinants for European Union Firms"

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, has recently released an EU-wide study entitled "Protecting Innovation Through Trade Secrets and Patents: Determinants for European Union Firms".

This study uses data from the Community Innovation Survey for 24 Member States, which examines the economic importance of trade secrets and their relationship with patents.

Three main findings emerge from this study :

  • The use of trade secrets is higher than the use of patents for most types of companies (although it is particularly prevalent among SMEs), in most economic sectors and in all Member States.
  • Market novelty and innovation in tangible goods are associated with a preference for patents while process and service innovations are more often protected through secrecy.
  • There is complementarity between the use of trade secrets and patents—many companies use both methods to protect their innovations.

These results will provide a basis for policy-makers and companies to further develop policies in this area following the adoption of the Trade Secrets Directive in 2016.

Atarés Mosaics: International market selection and IP as a differentiation value

You have a patentable technology and a business ready for international expansion? Get inspired by Atarés Mosaics' internationalisation strategy and learn about the steps to be followed to ensure that your technology is protected in a commercially efficient manner. 

 

Trade secrets: An efficient tool for competitiveness

A trade secret is confidential information in the context of business, commerce or trade. Trade secrets often constitute valuable resources to many companies whose assets may, for instance, not be patentable but have a great commercial value and therefore need to be protected.

This fact sheet illustrates the importance of trade secrets for businesses and provides insight into trade secret protection, which could prove beneficial in particular to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

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