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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European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (27)

We are pleased to inform you that Issue 27 of the European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin has been published and is now available online.

This Bulletin issue is largely dedicated to IP and innovation and their importance for business.

An article from WIPO highlights the instances where IP has the potential of playing an important role in the process of taking innovative technologies to the marketplace and clarifies the difference between innovations and inventions.

EUIPO aims to enhance the understanding of the role and contribution of trade secrets within the IP portfolio of EU companies while the next article, by the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), gives an overview of the relationship between IP, plant variety rights (PVRs) and innovation along with its importance for European SMEs.

EPO focuses on how SMEs from different regions and sectors can better exploit their IP by developing a creative, proactive and value-oriented approach to patents and other IP rights.

Moreover, Sacha Lakic Design, a Luxembourguish design company, shares with us its expertise in this field in an interview, providing some guidance on what to do when facing IP issues and how design companies can best manage their Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).

As per usual, the Bulletin reports information about past IPR events together with the latest news from the Helpline service. This time you will also find two short articles regarding the "New Country Special: IP in Croatia" and the IPforBusiness - IP Training Roadshow for Innovation Support, as well as our brand new IP and innovation letter soup and the usual patent quiz.

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Copyright essentials

Copyright is an intellectual property right (IPR) that grants authors, artists and other creators protection for their literary, artistic and scientific creations, generally referred to as “works”.

No matter if you are a copyright owner or a copyright user, the understanding of the copyright basics is crucial to any business. In essence, it must be borne in mind that safeguarding your own copyright and securing the permission of third parties before using copyrighted materials is not only legally required but also a good business practice.

The present fact sheet illustrates the importance of copyright protection for businesses and provides insight into the copyright regime, knowledge of which could prove beneficial in particular to SMEs.

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EPO launches a selection of SME case studies!

Best practices for European SMEs to get the most out of patents

In a highly competitive business environment, Europe’s SMEs need to remain agile and responsive to market conditions. One way of doing this is to invest into R&D and build as well as maintain a strong intellectual property portfolio. But developing and fine-tuning IP strategies is not always easy, particularly for smaller entities, which often have limited resources.

A new publication by the European Patent Office provides concrete examples of how small businesses can use IP to their advantage. It not only illustrates the variety of approaches to using IP and their many advantages, but each study also contains a list of specific recommendations.

What you can learn from the 12 case studies:

-       how to align IP strategy to real business needs

-       the benefits of involving multiple company departments and external expertise in IP strategy definition

-       how to collaborate with universities and research organisations in early-stage research

-       why to make use of free patent information databases to conduct in-depth prior art searches early in the creative process

         before research begins

-       benefits of a strong IP portfolio  to attract investments

-       how to create strategic partnerships with global leaders and ensure a strong and steady market position with the help of

         own patents.

The publication also highlights the benefits that SMEs might expect from the planned Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court. These include savings in time and money, as well as greater legal certainty across the EU market.

We hope this publication will be useful for small and medium-sized companies and their advisors as they can benefit from the experiences and good practices described in the case studies to support their own development and growth.

You can download the studies here: epo.org/sme and please don’t forget to spread the word to anyone that might benefit from them as well.

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