New IP App for small businesses

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has launched in partnership with Swansea University and Intellectual Property (IP) Wales, an IP App aimed at Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to help them identify and understand how they can make IP work for them.

It contains:

  • An overview of patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and Intangible Assets
  • An introduction to IP as part of your business planning with some quick tips
  • Links to further IP resources

The app also provides a great platform on which to view the latest news and developments in the IP world, with access to our news and Twitter feeds as well as the IP Insight online magazine.

The IP App is available to download now from the Apple store itunes and Android App store.

For further information, please click here.

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IP PANORAMA new module on "IP Issues in Franchising"

IP Panorama, a “Joint Development of E-learning Content” developed by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), has an interesting new addition on “IP Issues in Franchising”.

To access the e-learning platform, please click here.

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Become an EU IPR Helpdesk Ambassador! New Cooperation Scheme with the Enterprise Europe Network

The European IPR Helpdesk recently launched a new cooperation scheme specifically designed to intensify collaboration with Enterprise Europe Network partners and to increase the outreach particularly towards SMEs at a national and regional level throughout Europe. The so-called “EU IPR Helpdesk Ambassador Programme” is based on the overall idea of appointing individual Network partners as local ambassadors. They will be granted privileged access to the Helpdesk’s information and training material in order to further support their local clients in dealing with IP.

In an open call the Helpdesk team is looking for official staff members of the Enterprise Europe Network (i.e. to be found in the EEN directory) with

  • basic knowledge of IP/IPR, IP Management, Technology Transfer or Innovation Management
  • and at least one year of experience in providing IP-related services to SMEs/innovation actors

Are you interested in joining forces with us, and do you meet these criteria? Then we look forward to receiving your application. The first application round will be closed on 31 January 2013. Please find out all the details on the scheme, the application and further selection process on:

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Commission staff working document: Towards enhanced patent valorisation for growth and jobs

The European Commission services have produced a Staff Working Document to serve as a basis for future discussions with other EU Institutions and beyond on the need to enhance patent valorisation. The Staff Working Document presents and analyses the major obstacles European companies, mainly SMEs, have to face in valorising existing patents, especially ‘dormant patents’. While describing the current European initiatives aimed at addressing issues in this area, it also outlines short- to medium- and long-term options for making better use of "dormant patents".

To freely read and download the paper, please click here.

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Leveraging patents for business growth

IP rights are meant to provide companies with a solid foundation for their business success. Patent portfolios, in particular, can be an exceptional means to exploit innovation in the market place and establish business partnerships. This case study shows that even a small company with little money can succeed in a competitive market environment and win against bigger competitors if such a company can leverage its business value using patent rights. Furthermore, thanks to patents' strength and to their efficient management, investors are attracted by the perspective of long-term economic benefits deriving from a business that is IP-protected.

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Managing IP information for international business opportunity

Every day many good ideas and research results are wasted due to a wrong strategic innovation plan; writing a “good patent” does not necessarily mean that an idea is transformed into a “good business”. Before starting with a new technology development or a research project, both entrepreneurs and researchers should carefully develop their knowledge of the state of the art, using IP databases in order to verify if the idea is really new and if there is any blocking patent contained in other similar technologies.

This would prove to be beneficial from the business rollout up to the subsequent internationalisation, and the present case study draws attention to this process.

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E-Learning for SMEs

Are you looking for an e-learning tool tailored for SMEs? Then do not look further, because the OHIM’s E-Learning for SMEs is what you need.

Provided in nine different languages, this tool aims to train SMEs about the importance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). With the possibility to select the sector and product which you could identify your business with, this tool allows you to have a training tailored to your concrete needs. In E-Learning for SMEs you can also find case studies, good practices and manuals to deepen your knowledge.

To access this tool, please click here.

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“Agreeing a Price for Intellectual Property Rights” Booklet

This booklet, which forms part of the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) IP Healthcheck series, is designed to help businesses conducting transactions involving Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) reach a valuation of IPRs. It:

  • will help you understand whether you are charging or paying too much;
  • describes the common methods of valuing IPR;
  • provides an easy-to-complete checklist, in scorecard form, which you can use to assess the value of IPRs in your transaction; and
  • lists other useful resources.

There is no easy or fool proof way to value IPR, and it can become complicated. This booklet will take a little time to read through, but it will take you a long way towards being able to take an informed decision about the value of IPR. It will also help you see whether you need to call on an expert professional, and if so it should enable you to make the best use of his or her time.

For further information on IP Healthcheck, please click here; to freely download the booklet, here.

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Commissioner Barnier explains why the EU Unitary Patent will make a difference for European companies

In a speech before the Committee of Legal Affairs of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Commissioner Barnier explained why the proposal for the Unitary Patent will make a difference, allow growth and in particular change the lives of European innovative firms. According to the Commissioner this new tool will make a difference mainly because:

  • applicants will have the option to have a patent with a unitary effect in 25 Member States;
  • translation will be facilitated;
  • costs will be considerably reduced (“cost of validation of a unitary patent in 25 Member States will be reduced to € 2,380 during the transitional period, and only € 680 after the end of the transitional period”); and
  • the patent will be protected in all 25 Member States through a unique court.

To read the speech in full, please click here.

For further information on the Unitary Patent, click here.

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Survey on Trade Secrets and Confidential Business Information in the Internal Market

Some months ago, the European Commission contracted Baker & McKenzie to carry out a study on trade secrets and confidential business information. In this framework, Baker & McKenzie has launched a survey with the purpose to investigate how EU companies manage these assets.

The data collected “will help the European Commission to better evaluate whether there is a need to provide companies, and in particular SMEs, with better means of redress against the economic harm resulting from dishonest appropriation of confidential business information.

The European IPR Helpdesk encourages all EU companies to participate in this survey! Click here to participate.

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